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A just-amended complaint in a class-action lawsuit first submitted two weeks ago claims that a patent Google submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November 2008 shows that the search giant purposefully created technology to gather, analyze and use data sent by users over their wireless networks.
In its patent application [appft1.uspto.gov], Google noted that multiple antennas could be mounted on vehicles, which would be able to obtain a more accurate estimate of the router's location based on a "stereo" effect.
"As disclosed in the '776 Application, the more types and greater the quantity of Wi-Fi data obtained, decoded, and analyzed by Google from any particular user, the higher its 'confidence level' in the calculated location of that user's wireless AP," the changed lawsuit stated. "Collection, decoding, and analysis of a user's payload data would, therefore, serve to increase the accuracy, value, usability, and marketability of Google's new method."
[edited by: tedster at 2:10 am (utc) on Jun 6, 2010]
[edit reason] small spelling fix [/edit]
...to increase the accuracy..
Nearly three weeks after admitting that it had sniffed sensitive data from open wireless networks around the world, Google is now facing at least seven U.S. class-action lawsuits over its practice.
The first lawsuit was filed on May 17 on behalf of Vicki Van Valin of Oregon and Neil Mertz of Washington. Since then, the lawsuits haven't stopped coming. Google is now facing two more cases in California courts, one in Illinois, two in Washington, D.C., and another in Florida, brought by Internet service provider Galaxy Internet Services.
The lawsuits claim that Google violated federal wiretapping laws by sniffing wireless traffic -- including the content of e-mails and Web-surfing activity -- with its Google Street View cars. The specially equipped cars drive public streets, taking photographs and recording GPS coordinates to create Street View, a Google map product made up of photographs.
[edited by: engine at 8:27 am (utc) on Jun 7, 2010]
[edit reason] added attribution link [/edit]
Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland has reportedly asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Google breached any laws during its inadvertent collection of Wi-Fi data by it Street View cars while they were taking photographs of locations around the globe.
Google Inc said on Saturday it would hand over data it collected through wireless networks to French, German and Spanish authorities as it faces mounting legal issues concerning its data collection.
Google is "almost certain" to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).
Google has released an independent audit of the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software by mistake.
But PI is convinced the audit proves "criminal intent".
Great, so now not only did Google get your private data, but now all of these courts will too.