Just a couple weeks after the latest setback, Google picked up a small but potentially important victory today in its defense against charges that the company violated federal wiretap laws when its Street View cars intercepted personal data over unencrypted WiFi networks.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Judge James Ware has put the case on hold and given Google the go-ahead to appeal his ruling last month that kept open a group of consolidated lawsuits that accuse Google of violating the Federal Wiretap Act. In that decision, Ware dismissed a pair of claims against Google, but refused to grant Google a dismissal of the wiretapping charges.
According to the Chronicle:
The case is the first in which a federal court is being asked to determine whether a company can be found liable under federal wiretap laws based on allegations that it intentionally intercepted data from a wireless home network, according to Ware’s opinion.
“In light of the novelty of the issues presented, the court finds that its June 29 order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a credible basis for a difference of opinion,” Ware wrote in his ruling today.
A Google spokesperson told the paper that Google is “pleased that the court has allowed us to appeal its recent decision on our motion to dismiss,” and reiterated the company’s belief that the lawsuit’s claims are “without merit.”
For more background, see the stories listed below.