Google faces global criminal charges for collecting your private info

June 22, 2010

Google in even MORE hot water

Recently, Google has been called to the carpet when it was discovered that Google Street View cars were not just collecting public wifi data such as SSID info, but were “unknowingly” collecting payload data which Google says they have since segregated from other data on the network and as of May they have halted their Street View cars.

It has been reported that Google not only violated personal privacy by collecting public SSID information but by collecting email passwords, web activity and personal data from computers as their Google Street View cars drove by. Google continues to claim that the data collection was accidental and they did not know that their cars were set up to data collect.

Despite claims of halting their info-gathering cars, Austria has banned Google Street View cars and today, the Connecticut AG announces they will lead a multi-state probe about Google’s unauthorized collection of personal data.

On Friday, the Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced that her office “will be seeking information from Google to ensure that Street View is not acquiring personal information” which is a fancy way of saying that they’ll be eyeballing Google as well.

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According to The Independent, today, “the French data protection agency CNIL said it was examining private data collected for Street View, including emails and possibly banking details, to decide if the firm should face criminal charges or other sanctions.”

“It was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we did nothing illegal. We’re working with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns,” a Google representative said in a statement, according to the L.A. Times.

CC Licensed image courtesy of byrion via

No more extra work Over the past year, I've been writing about my quest to help us all become free of Internet Explorer and Outlook by switching to Google. There isn't much grey area here, some people love it while others hate this concept. For those that love it, I've…
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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and sister news outlet, The Real Daily, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


  1. Google seems to be pushing all the wrong buttons these days. The company is acting “BP-ish” lately. It’s such a lame and pathetic excuse for Google to claim that the data collection was ‘accidental’ and they didn’t know that their vehicles were set up to data collect. One can’t help but wonder what Google was really up to….

  2. Fewer people these days are lookin’ askance at me when learning how I avoid Google whenever possible. They’re cavalier, arrogant, and scary powerful. What’s your info worth to you?

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