Google misses Conn. AG's deadline

Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 20, 2010, 12:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says his office may be forced to take legal action against Google after the company failed to meet a deadline.

Friday's deadline required Google to turn over data collected in the state by its Street View vehicles. Google collected the data in 2008, when the Street View cars allegedly improperly collected data from unsecured Connecticut personal and business wireless computer networks.

In cooperation with the Department of Consumer Protection, Blumenthal issued the demand earlier this month to Google in the form of a civil investigative demand, which is the equivalent of a subpoena.

"We need to verify what confidential information the company surreptitiously and wrongfully collected and stored," Blumenthal said in a statement earlier this month.

"We are compelling the company to grant my office access to data to determine whether e-mails, passwords, web-browsing and other information was improperly intercepted, for the same reasons that other law enforcement agencies abroad have done so."

Blumenthal, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, said he was "disappointed" with the company's failure to comply.

He said, "We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps -- including possible legal action -- are warranted."

Google originally claimed that the data was fragmented, but since has acknowledged that entire e-mails and other information may have been improperly captured.

And while the company has allowed Canadian and other regulatory authorities to review similar data, it has so far refused to allow Blumenthal's office the same access.

The company said in a statement to the Journal, "We did not want and have never used the payload data in any of our products and services. We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward, as well as to answer their further questions and concerns."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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