Google sued over Wi-Fi sniffing

A Massachusetts ISP alleges Google violated state and federal privacy protection laws

Galaxy Internet Services, an ISP for homes and businesses in Massachusetts, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Google over the search company's admitted blunder that it sniffed and stored data from Wi-Fi networks.

Through its legal representative, Carp Law Offices, Galaxy said on Tuesday that Google violated U.S. federal and Massachusetts privacy laws when it captured residential and business Web activity data.

Google declined to comment about the lawsuit.

Earlier this month, Google disclosed that its Street View cars, which take photos for services like Google Maps, had since 2006 mistakenly collected "payload data" from Wi-Fi networks they drove by that weren't password-protected.

Google did intentionally record the networks' names (SSIDs) and their routers' unique identifying numbers (MAC), but has stopped doing this.

Galaxy filed its lawsuit on its behalf and on behalf of its customers and anyone else similarly affected in Massachusetts, and is seeking class certification.

Galaxy is also requesting that Google be forbidden from destroying the Wi-Fi data it collected and that it be required to pay damages as determined by a jury, along with attorneys' fees.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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