Feeds

Google claims Wi-Fi slurp legal in the US

Well if you leave your door open you can't complain when etc etc

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google lawyers reckon its Wi-Fi data harvesting operation will be judged legit in the US.

That's the latest message on the controversy from the firm - but it remains schtum on the legal brickbats being chucked its way in Europe.

In a letter to Congressmen, Google's director of public policy Pablo Chavez said that harvesting data from unencrypted wireless networks was legal in the US.

"We believe it does not violate US law to collect payload data from networks that are configured to be openly accessible (i.e., not secured by encryption and thus accessible by any user's device)," he wrote.

He did however maintain the company line that the practice was a "mistake" on Google's part.

"We emphasize that being lawful and being the right thing to do are two different things, and that collecting payload data was a mistake for which we are profoundly sorry," Chavez wrote.

Yesterday the top law enforcement official in Connecticut claimed as many as 30 states may launch a joint investigation into how Google's Street View fleet intercepted and stored communications over Wi-Fi.

The French data protection has already found that passwords and emails were harvested. Several of its European counterparts have expressed anger and warned of court action.

Google has blamed the operation on a rogue software coder and said he is subject to internal disciplinary procedures.

The Information Commissioner accepted Google's assurances that data collected in the UK would be destroyed. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.