Google hit with several
class-action lawsuits over WiFi snooping
In June 2010, Google admitted that the cars it
uses to gather
View pictures have collected private information from
unencrypted wireless networks for years, including passwords and
extracts of the content of email messages. Google asserts that the
collection was inadvertent. Pablo Chavez, Google's director of
public policy, explained in
June 9 letter to Congress
Street View vehicles gather network information such as wireless
addresses broadcast by WiFi routers "to improve the accuracy of the
location-based services, such as Google Maps or driving directions."
Van Valin was the first,
but not the last to file a class action complaint accusing Google of privacy invasion.
Lots and lots of lawyers are
trying to jump into the game.
At least 7 class action lawsuits have been filed:
The big question in all these lawsuits: How can the plaintiff
show that any of its specific data was recorded by Google, and that
any harm came to him because of it.
Google filed a motion June 9 to consolidate all U.S. suits and move
them to federal court in San Francisco.