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Google U.S. Streetview Privacy Case Seeks Class Action Status

     
2:54 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Court Says Privacy Case Can Proceed vs. Google

SAN FRANCISCO In a major legal setback for Google, a federal appeals court here said on Tuesday that a lawsuit accusing the Internet giant of illegal wiretapping could proceed.

[nytimes.com...]
9:30 pm on Sept 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google doesn't need, or rather shouldn't have, our home wifi information, period.

Whatever penalty they ultimately receive will be meaningless, 7 million to Google is pizza money.
12:26 am on Sept 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sad to say, these complications are of their own devising. The little wonks weren't being watched by the big wonks, and all these years later somebody will have to pay for that lack of supervision (or insight!)
8:22 am on Sept 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think its pretty funny, google says "ohh that was a mistake/error" but that system that pick up all the data, they have a patent on that. Google often reminds me of a dictatorship, where they always deny everything even if it right in front of there faces.
12:26 pm on Sept 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't suppose there's any possibility of anyone being jailed over this, is there? It's the only thing that would have any really punitive effect.
2:42 pm on Sept 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Since when did data being openly broadcast over the airwaves constitute wiretapping?

Google doesn't need, or rather shouldn't have, our home wifi information, period.


Then secure your wifi and they won't have it. Period.

Open wifi means just that, OPEN.

It's like using an old 900Mhz cordless phones and expecting privacy when in reality anyone could listen in as it wasn't encrypted, or even scrambled like spread spectrum. All you had to do was be close enough, like Google driving by, to listen in to those conversations. Anyone could also listen in to those old phones with an of the amateur radio tuners you could buy down at Radio Shack, just like anyone can listen into open wifi with a smartphone or a laptop driving by. It wasn't secure, just like open wifi isn't, and any thinking person unlike the judge wouldn't expect privacy on such a device configured in such a way.

However, if you went to the trouble of hacking WEP or listening in on the current spread spectrum phones I'd call it wiretapping as well.

It's a simple case of stupidity, the law, and big government clashing before the laws had actually caught up with technology and as usual in the US since there are big pockets involved it goes straight to court so some greedy idiots will make a windfall profit that WE ultimately pay.

That's right, everyone will cheer for Google being spanked until those outrageous settlements end up costing us more to buy those Android devices, buy stuff from Google Play, or some other service. Better yet, they don't raise prices they just whack some staff and your favorite Google tools like the old RSS Reader or something else.

Then it's not so funny and the cheering stops.

Just remember, companies don't pay settlements, customers do, it's all passed down.

WE pay for it, those Google billions all came from us.

Therefore, I'd opt for mediation and demand the data be dumped, end of story.
4:10 pm on Sept 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Er, I don't buy anything from Google and I don't use any of their free services except YouTube, and I'm prepared to live without it if it goes paid or gets ridiculous in anyway. So I don't mind Google having to pay a settlement. ;)

That said, it's true that $7m is hardly a deterrent. I'm not sure what would be, but making companies actually DO something (that they don't want to do) instead of just PAY something might help.
9:01 am on Sept 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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incredibill, I'm glad you don't live in my neighbourhood if you think that just because something is not secured, it is fine for anyone to take it!
Whether that information was secured or not, Google should not have taken it.
12:39 pm on Sept 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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$7million fine..
Roughly 4 hours of Googles revenue. Nice deterrent to a monopoly. The executives must be trembling.
6:26 pm on Sept 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What exactly did they collect? My understanding originally was that the purpose of hitting wireless was to determine the exact latitude and longitude of various IP addresses. You wouldn't need to collect an email address or a password to do that. Or did they capture and store raw data to be analyzed later (since the vehicle is moving I can see where some stuff can't be done in real-time). If they analyzed the data later, did they destroy the data afterwards? What, if anything was kept (prior to the lawsuits)?
7:58 pm on Sept 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The $7M settlement "to the states" is not the same case cited in the original post...

Court Says Privacy Case Can Proceed vs. Google
September 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a major legal setback for Google, a federal appeals court here said on Tuesday that a lawsuit accusing the Internet giant of illegal wiretapping could proceed....


The 37 state's Attorney Generals sued Google for the collection of the data. Back in March 2013, they settled for $7M --- which is almost humorous in light of PRISM vis-a-vie Mr. Snowden.

The Attorney Generals of each state release a Press Release patting themselves on the back for collecting what amounts to peanuts, especially for a U.S. "state" to collect, (I wonder how many of the states collected less than the amount of payroll and expenses paid out to staff attorneys)...

MASSACHUSETTS:
[mass.gov...]

CONNECTICUT:
[ct.gov...]

This article references a different case -- 22 individuals, hoping to form a class action suit and get $10k each person ---

If the case does become a class action, millions could join. The potential penalties might, in theory, be large enough that even Google would notice. The plaintiffs are asking for $10,000 each along with unspecified punitive damages.