CT AG Launches Another Google Probe

    June 7, 2010

Lawyers – and particularly lawyers who know a lot about privacy laws – might want to send their resumes to Google.  It seems the company could use some extra legal representatives before long, given that Connecticut’s attorney general has now started yet another investigation concerning the collection of sensitive WiFi data.

GoogleThis means Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general in question, joined officials in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Spain who are also looking into the matter.  Blumenthal was perhaps less diplomatic when expressing his dismay, though.

Blumenthal said in a statement, "Driveby data sweeps of unsecured WIFI networks here would be deeply disturbing, a potentially impermissible, pernicious invasion of privacy.  Consumers and businesses rightly expect Google to respect their privacy, not invade it by vacuuming up confidential data."

He then continued, "I am demanding Google reveal any WIFI data collection in Connecticut.  If it occurred, the company should provide my office a full explanation, including what it gathered, when, where and why. . . .  Concealed Internet capture by Google’s high tech cars may violate valid expectations of privacy – making it possibly illegal."

Those aggressive declarations don’t leave Google much wiggle room, and given that other attorneys general may well decide to follow Blumenthal’s lead, the situation could soon deteriorate even more.