Google May Face Congressional Hearing Over WiFi Data Collection

Calling Google’s collection of personal data over unsecured WiFi networks “very troubling,” a US congressman says CEO Eric Schmidt may be called to answer questions when the new Congress convenes next year. Representative Joe Barton made the comments on C-SPAN’s The Communicators program today.

Although Google has repeatedly said the data collection was inadvertent, Barton seemed to express doubts about that on the program:

There appears to have been a conscious effort to collect information. Now, Google has said it was inadvertent. But it wasn’t just kind of … accidentally gathered. And I do think that’s something we could look at.

Barton also spoke during the show about Facebook-related privacy issues, and when asked later if Facebook and Google executives might be called before the House Commerce Committee, he said, “you could almost guarantee that.” You can watch the interview on C-SPAN’s web site; the Google comments come in response to a question that starts at the 22:50 mark.

The Federal Trade Commission recently ended its investigation of Google’s Wi-Fi data collection and announced no penalties.

(via BusinessWeek)

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


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.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide