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Google Defies Regulators In Germany, Hong Kong

Private WiFi data case gets hairier

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Since Google first admitted that its Street View cars had collected private WiFi data, the company’s been quick to delete the data when asked.  But authorities in Germany and Hong Kong have asked Google to turn over the data, instead, and so far, Google has declined to cooperate.

GoogleIn Germany, Google indicated that giving the data to a regulator would itself be against the law.  According to Kevin J. O’Brien, a spokesperson said, "As granting access to payload data creates legal challenges in Germany which we need to review, we are continuing to discuss the appropriate legal and logistical process for making the data available.  We hope, given more time, to be able to resolve this difficult issue."

As for the situation in Hong Kong, Google apparently hasn’t bothered to say anything at all.  Privacy Commissioner Roderick B. Woo said the company let a Monday deadline pass without responding to his request.

Fines and a lot more negative publicity may be in Google’s future as a result.  Many people were suspicious enough at Google’s claim that private WiFi data had been collected by accident; now, the company’s refusal to turn it over doesn’t seem likely to help its reputation.

It’s possible this situation will snowball, too, as other privacy regulators decide to see what all the fuss is about and ask to inspect the data collected in their countries.

Google Defies Regulators In Germany, Hong Kong
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  • http://www.FreeGunInfo.com Adsense Publisher

    I knew something bad would happen when Google announced they were collecting data that they felt they shouldn’t have been collecting. The problem is, it’s not like any of the data could have been used for anything really, other than making a map of all the wi-fi hotspots. Now you’re getting everybody wanting to actually see the data?

    I think it’s ridiculous and it’s Google’s fault for opening that door. They should’ve kept their mouth shut, removed the data, and moved on. There was no harm done, so the mistake of collecting anything but SSID’s should’ve been kept quiet.

  • Roy

    Kept their mouth shut and get in more trouble later on when an ex-google employee opens their trap or Google’s records are subpoenaed by a totally unrelated lawsuit and is uncovered? World doesn’t work like that. You don’t even have a clue what you are talking about or what can be done with the data they collected. You can make lemonade out of a lemon but Google can make not only lemonade but carrot juice out of it.

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