Google’s appeal rejected in Street View privacy case

Google has been struggling with private data collection allegations ever since the Street View technology launched in 2007. Earlier this year Google agreed to pay $7 million in a settlement case to 38 states in which Google collected unsecured data. Although the case was settled, a lawsuit that claims Google violated the Wiretap Act still stands, and Google’s recent attempt to appeal the case was rejected by the federal court, according to Reuters. Google has attempted to argue that its methods of data collection, which were inadvertent, should be exempt from liability.

“Even if it is commonplace for members of the general public to connect to a neighbor’s unencrypted Wi-Fi network,” Circuit Judge Jay Bybee wrote, “members of the general public do not typically mistakenly intercept, store, and decode data transmitted by other devices on the network.”

Ever since the accusations were originally leveled against Google, the court system has been adamant that the original intent of the Wiretap Act was not solely to protect those who had secure networks, but all those who want to protect the data they transmit over a private network. A spokeswoman from Google said that the company is “disappointed in the Ninth Circuit’s decision and [is] considering [its] next steps.”

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