Blumenthal suspicious of Google

Keith Loria Jun. 7, 2010, 3:16pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is concerned that Internet giant Google has collected data from homes in Connecticut illegally, his office announced on Monday.

Blumenthal believes that Google's use of "street view" cars to photograph Connecticut streets and homes may have collected personal information that was transmitted over wireless networks without proper permission.

"Drive by data sweeps of unsecured WiFi networks here would be deeply disturbing, a potentially impermissible, pernicious invasion of privacy," Blumenthal said.

"Consumers and businesses rightly expect Google to respect their privacy, not invade it by vacuuming up confidential data."

Although not naming Connecticut specifically, Google has acknowledged that "street view" cars in some locations - mostly in Europe - have intercepted information from unsecured personal WiFi networks.

Published reports say that the private online information captured by Google may include general Web browsing, passwords, personal e-mails and other data.

In a letter to Google penned by Blumenthal, the attorney general asked whether the company gathered such data in Connecticut, and if so, Blumenthal is demanding Google offer 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," Blumenthal said.

"If personal data was collected, Google must disclose how widely it was captured, how it was stored, who had access to it and the purpose."

Blumenthal is running for U.S. Senate.

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