Google, Connecticut-led Coalition Agree To Negotiate WiFi Data Collection Issues

Google and the Connecticut-led coalition of 40 US states will avoid court and begin negotiations that are aimed at settling issues related to Google’s collection of personal data over unsecured WiFi networks.

In a press release issued today (PDF), newly-elected Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says the coalition will not pursue a demand issued last month that Google produce the data it had collected. The previous AG, Richard Blumenthal, had hinted that he would consider legal action if Google resisted giving over the data.

According to today’s announcement, Google has made a few concessions in exchange for not having to produce the data:

Google has now stipulated that while collecting network identification information for use in offering “location aware” services, it did in fact collect and store the payload data that contained private information.

In particular, Google stipulates, for purposes of settlement discussions, that the payload data collected contained URLs of requested Web pages, partial or complete e-mail communications or other information, including confidential and private information the network user was transmitting over the unsecured network while Google’s Street View car was within range.

Google also will not contest during settlement negotiations that such private information was collected every day that the Street View cars operated.

Google has repeatedly said the data collection was accidental. A number of jurisdictions continue to investigate the matter. See Google Maps Privacy: The Street View & Wifi Scorecard for more information.

(via All Things D)

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Legal | Google: Street View | Legal: Privacy

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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