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Spain objects to Street View Wi-Fi snooping

Google takes another legal hit

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Google may face a Spanish court over the legality of the Wi-Fi snooping activities of its Street View fleet, El País reports.

The snappily-titled Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio de Delitos, Abusos y Negligencias en Informática y Comunicaciones Avanzadas (Association for the Prevention and Investigation of Crime, Abuse and Malpractice in Information Technology and Advanced Communications), aka Apedanica, has filed suit in the Police Court of Madrid against the legal representative of Google Spain.

It suggests the company has breached Article 197 of the Penal Code, which provides for between one and fours years' jail for anyone who "intercepts telecommunications, or uses listening, transmission, recording or reproduction devices on any other communication signal".

When it confessed back in back in May that Street View spymobiles had been "collecting information sent over open Wi-Fi networks", Google claimed the whole thing was a "mistake", and later blamed it on a rogue software coder.

This explanation has failed to impress. Apedanica president Miguel Angel Gallardo insisted that "something which was carefully programmed and has been done in 30 countries can't be an error".

On 19 May, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, or AEPD) opened an investigation into the matter, and last Tuesday Google Spain's director general, Javier Rodríguez, promised all culled data would be handed over to the agency.

Apedanica has evidently decided that's not good enough, and its legal action adds to increasing international pressure on Google over its Orwellian black Opel black ops. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Carlos Martin for the heads-up.

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