I have a clever looking feature on my PC called “Google Earth.”
Innocent enough, right? You can “drive” down your children’s street and see what kind of neighborhood they live in. How cool is that!
WELL, it seems those Goggle cameras were doing more than just filming your streets. “. . . unbeknownst to passers-by, those cameras weren’t just making photos. They were also collecting detailed information transmitted over Wi-Fi networks they passed through.”
According to the same FOXNEWS article for Sept 11, “A federal appeals court said Google wrongly collected people’s personal correspondence and online activities through their Wi-Fi systems as it drove down their streets with car cameras shooting photos for its Street View mapping project.”
And now the sentence I really like, “The ruling that the practice violates wiretap laws sends a warning to other companies seeking to suck up vast amounts of data from unencrypted Wi-Fi signals.”
“The payload data transmitted over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks that was captured by Google included emails, usernames, passwords, images, and documents,” wrote the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a report released Tuesday
Isn’t it enough to have the alphabet-soup of our Federal government snooping on us – NSA, FBI, CIA, etc.
Our Fourth amendment rights are being eroded enough as it is, without a PRIVATE company getting involved – (or maybe they sell their data to the government?)
“This appeals court decision is a tremendous victory for privacy rights. It means Google can’t suck up private communications from people’s Wi-Fi networks and claim their Wi-Spying was exempt from federal wiretap laws,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director. “Because Google’s Wi-Spy activity was so extensive, the potential damages could amount to billions of dollars.”