Wifi data collection 'not illegal', says Google

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google has denied that it did anything wrong in collecting Wifi data with its Street View cars, as Connecticut becomes the latest state to demand answers.

"As we have said before, this was a mistake," said a Google spokeswoman in a statement to the Associated Press.  "Google did nothing illegal and we are working with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns."

The denial comes as Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal calls on Google to reveal whether there was any Wifi data collection in the state.

"If it occurred, the company should provide my office a full explanation, including what it gathered, when, where and why. My office can evaluate whether laws were broken," he says.

"Concealed internet capture by Google’s high tech cars may violate valid expectations of privacy - making it possibly illegal. If personal data was collected, Google must disclose how widely it was captured, how it was stored, who had access to it and the purpose."

Missouri's attorney general sent a similar letter to Google on Friday, and several other states are considering it. The company is also under investigation in France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Australia.