Dark clouds arise against Google

GoogleplexGoogle faces a harsh wind because of its data collection maniacs. Multiple US federal states want to work together to find out how the company has violated laws by recording unencrypted wireless connections. Furthermore, they want to make sure that such behavior does not occur again.

Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, accused Google of a “deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy” in a statement on Monday. The company had not just photographed streets for its Street View project. The camera cars also collected data from unencrypted wireless networks and stored them. The stored data may include web page passwords or credit card numbers. After the security problem was made public, Google temporarily stopped recording wireless locations.

Worldwide, Google is facing legal problems because of the data collection. Germany’s Federal Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner (CDU) criticizes the company’s behavior as well. “Google must come clean,” Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. He agreed that Google wants to cooperate. But “its response so far raises as many questions as it answers.”

In a preparing discussion for the common investigations, representatives of more than 30 U.S. federal states participated. Blumenthal assumes that eventually a “significant number” of states will cooperate. The Attorney Generals also want to get Google’s answer why the company stored data that had been collected by error, how the data collection software was installed into the Street View cars, and who shared in this work.