Multi-State Investigation Launched Against Google

Wi-Fi probe may involve over 30 Attorneys General

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Google may be in big, big trouble.  Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who was the first Attorney General to scrutinize the company over its collection of sensitive WiFi data, is now leading a probe in which officials representing more than 30 states have expressed interest.

GoogleIndeed, according to a statement released by Blumenthal’s office, over 30 states participated in a recent conference call on the subject, and considering what an early stage the investigation’s at, it seems possible that several representatives might have just missed the figurative memo or had scheduling conflicts.

Blumenthal is pressing forward regardless of inexact numbers, though.  He said, "While we hope Google will continue to cooperate, its response so far raises as many questions as it answers.  The company must provide a complete and comprehensive explanation of how this unauthorized data collection happened, why the information was kept if collection was inadvertent and what action will prevent a recurrence."

Then here’s a key sentence: "Our investigation will consider whether laws may have been broken and whether changes to state and federal statutes may be necessary."

Of course, all this comes not long after a French data protection agency claimed that Google managed to collect people’s passwords and comprehensible parts of emails, not just random 1s and 0s.

The search giant had better hope the U.S. Attorneys General don’t reach the same conclusion.

Multi-State Investigation Launched Against Google
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  • Chen

    It is time to take G. apart. They are abusing their power left and right. Many businesses have been put out of business with the Mayday update too. I’d say, break their legs US gov.! Sic them dogs on them.

  • Guest

    I agree with the last comment that the us gov is like a pack of dogs.

  • http://www.donson.net Donson

    Google Mayday update will eventually bring Google down not some Government. I predict that Internet users will begin to discover Google is only serving up the large retailers who don’t have competitive prices with many of the small retailers that Google Search no longer returns. Bing and Yahoo are already benefiting by not pushing out these small retailers. When MS and Yahoo finally merge, they should play on this Google weakness to further grow their user base.

    It will eventually be Google yelling “Mayday….Mayday” but it will then be too late since Google will have already lost what they should have valued most ……… trust. Users have always trusted that organic search on Google would include everything. People migrated to Google not only because it was fast but because it indexed and served up everything allowing the Internet user to decide if they wanted to look only on page one or maybe take the time to look deeper to find a better source. With the Google Mayday update, the small businesses are disappearing from search and Internet users are seeing nothing but multiple results (blogs, video, news releases, articles, et.) from the same small group of large companies. These large companies fund their large Internet presence with advertizing so Google likes them.

    Do Internet users like these Ads? People first moved to cable TV to get less interruptions from Ads then they moved to the Internet. When a search engine finds a better revenue source that does not rely heavily on Advertizing such that they can truly offer everyone an equal share of their index and ranking, they will surly cause Google to cry Mayday. Maybe Graig’s List can find the right answer.

  • Roy

    I agree, I just don’t understand what those engineers at Google were thinking! You can get all fancy you want but if you don’t provide exact search results, you are not a good search engine! Now they want to get all smarty and provide content based on synonyms, “freshness” and data the searcher are not interested in. There is no way they can stay alive for long with Mayday algo. I think Google is so big it has lost touch with reality, just like eBay. Agree, mayday will kill Google not the US Government.

  • Guest

    I hope the investigation finds that Google broke the law and that massive fines and criminal charges be brought against them. Google is a corrupt corporation that wants to control not only the search market but everything we see do. Google needs to be dismantled and never reorganize again. Google IS evil.

  • http://blog.clixniaga.com Draman Muhamad

    If the allegation is true than of coz its very unethical for google to be collecting unauthorise data no matter from what source. I hope there will be more measures to curb unathorise data collection by the authority. Its definitely an intrusion to ones privacy!

  • http://officialtwilightmerchandise.com Corbin

    Good runs the whole show. I don’t think anyone will be able to take them down. Maybe a slap on the wrist…

  • http://www.financialsuccessstories.com Guest

    Seems all you hear about Google these days is bad news. But if they go down, there’s a heck of a lot of folks who rely on them for their traffic going down with them!

  • Guest

    All I have to say is that people should learn to protect their Wi-Fi LANs. Google didn’t hack private Wi-Fis, but connected to unprotected networks. Unprotected information is public.

  • http://www.solarkent.co.uk simonm

    One small mistake by Google, recording WiFi data for effectively all users means that this data, while not identifying individuals, identifies the location, at worst within 20 to 30 meters.

    On the plus side, this means that web peadophiles, terrorists etc can be more easily identified, simply match the traffic to the MAC number and hey presto, we have a police raid, well done Google.

    On the negative side, anybody submitting to wikileaks can now be more easily identified. File sharers – okay we shouldn’t, people with an opinion, anybody who posts anything online or by email can be more easily traced.

    The intelligence services must be rubbing their hands with Glee (and I don’t mean the TV series)!

    Google have been really stupid!

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