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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Google Loses Appeal in Street View Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that the Google went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication when they drew information from inside people's homes, during photographing neighborhoods for the search giant's popular "Street View" maps.

This means that attorneys suing Google are free to resume their case.

Google was sued for enabling its camera-carrying vehicles to collect emails and Internet passwords while photographing neighborhoods for its "Street View" maps.

"The payload data transmitted over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks that was captured by Google included emails, usernames, passwords, images, and documents," wrote the panel. "Even if it is commonplace for members of the general public to connect to a neighbor's unencrypted Wi-Fi network, members of the general public do not typically mistakenly intercept, store, and decode data transmitted by other devices on the network."

Google has apologized for the snooping, promised to stop collecting the data and said that collecting data from public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries was inadvertent but not illegal.

Earlier this year Google also settled a lawsuit for $7 million after attorney generals argued that that while Google vehicles drove through neighborhoods between 2008 and March 2010 taking photos for the mapping software, the company also collected data being transferred through unsecured wireless networks.

Google says it has disabled the equipment that was collecting the data, and agreed to destroy the information as soon as possible.

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