Connecticut state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Dec. 10 compelled Google to turn over data collected from Connecticut citizens via insecure WiFi networks with Street View.
Connecticut state Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal Dec. 10 ratcheted up his July request for data
Google collected from Connecticut
citizens via insecure wireless networks by demanding the search engine to cough
Blumenthal's office issued a civil investigative demand, or the equivalent
of a subpoena, to make Google turn over the data its Street View cars
inadvertently grabbed from personal and business WiFi networks across the
Google admitted in May
its Street View cars, which rove
streets all over the world to grab imagery for Google Maps, had grabbed 600GB
of WiFi network data from more than 30 countries around the world since 2007.
While Google initially thought this data was just fragments, it later
learned it included private citizens' whole e-mails, passwords and Web browsing
Google has turned over
this data in Germany,
and Canada, and
destroyed it in Ireland.
But it has not done either in Connecticut,
according to Blumenthal.
"We are compelling the company to grant my office access to data to
determine whether e-mails, passwords, Web browsing and other information was
improperly intercepted, for the same reasons that other law enforcement
agencies abroad have done so," Blumenthal said in a
This is important, he argued, because Google was inconsistent about whether
data was fragmentary or whole.
"Verifying Google's data snare is crucial to assessing a penalty and
assuring no repeat. Consumers and businesses expect and deserve a full
explanation, as well as measures shielding them from future spying. We will
scrupulously safeguard the confidentiality of information we review."
Blumenthal, whose action is supported by the Department of Consumer
Protection, gave Google until Dec. 17 to turn over the data.
Google, which denied using any of the data it collected, waxed contrite in a
"As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly
collected payload data from unencrypted networks. As soon as we realized what
had happened, we stopped collecting all WiFi data from our Street View cars and
immediately informed the authorities."
The AG's latest complaint comes six weeks after the Federal Trade Commission
laid to rest
its investigation into the so-called WiSpy incident.
However, the Federal Communications Commission said
Nov. 10 it was probing whether Google broke the law in the