US states join forces in Google WiFi investigation


US states join forces in Google WiFi investigation

Warwick Ashford

A number of US states will co-ordinate investigations into Google's interception of private WiFi data sent over unencrypted home networks, Connecticut attorney-general Richard Blumenthal has confirmed.

A multi-state inquiry, led by Richard Blumenthal, is expected to increase pressure on Google and have a better chance of forcing change because of pooled resources, according to the Financial Times.

In the 1990s, co-ordinated lawsuits between states against the big tobacco companies secured advertising reforms and about $200bn (£134.5bn) in damages.

The US inquiry will try to determine whether data privacy laws were broken when Google's fleet of Street View cars harvested WiFi data as they collected images.

Google claims the data was collected unintentionally because experimental code was included by mistake in software used by the Street View vehicles.

The internet firm, which maintains no US laws were broken, also faces inquiries in several other countries, including France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.

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