Google is facing a class action lawsuit in Washington and Oregon states over the company’s collection of private data from unprotected wireless networks, Techeye reports.
Google recently admitted that its Street View cars had accidentally been collecting data from public wifi networks. The company was intentionally collecting non-sensitive data — SSIDs and MAC addresses — to help fine-tune its location-aware products. Until recently, the company insisted that no “payload data”, the actual content being transmitted by users. The company now admits that it did indeed record payload data, but insists that it was accidental, that the data was never used, and that the data that was recorded was likely indecipherable anyway.
Now Vicki Van Valin and Neil Mertz are filing a class action suit, alleging that their privacy has been violated. The suit suggests that every affected resident of the two states should be entitled to “100 a day for each day their data was breached, or $10,000 per violation per plaintiff”, according to Techeye.
The plaintiffs are also seeking an injunction to prevent Google from destroying the data in question, as it could be important evidence. Google had said it planned to consult with governments and privacy experts about the best way to dispose of the data.
Read the full complaint: Van Valin v Google Complaint