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Google Argues Street View Cars Did Not Violate Privacy Laws

Google has refused to relinquish all e-mail, password and browser information collected from its street view cars last year to the state of Connecticut.

When asked by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to hand over all offending material, the company argued that it did not violate privacy laws when it tapped data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

Google tried to justify its actions by stating that, under the Wiretap Act, it is not unlawful to receive information from networks that make data readily available to the general public.

According to federal wiretap law, it is illegal to collect data from networks that are not password protected, although there are some exemptions made for open networks.

Blumenthal is now heading a multi-state investigation regarding Google’s misconduct, eWeek reports.

Google originally collected 600 GB of Wi-Fi data from over 30 countries in May. The company has since turned over data in a number European countries and destroyed it in Ireland.