Another group just filed a class action lawsuit against Google over data from wifi networks Google recorded with its Street View vans, this time on behalf of residents of Massachusetts. There are already complaints representing residents of Oregon and Washington.
Google set out to record non-sensitive data — hotspot names and their unique “MAC” address — from wifi networks to help fine-tune its location-aware products. The company recently admitted that it was accidentally recording “payload data” — the actual information sent to and from users — as well. However, Google says it didn’t do anything with the data, and since its recorders changed channels five times per second, it’s unlikely that any of it would have been useful. Embarrassing, but probably not malicious.
That doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a case here. And it definitely doesn’t stop this from being a potential headache for Google if more lawsuits follow.