The search engine giant was hauled up in front of a court a few weeks back after its Street View cars as they photographed neighbourhoods in Oregon. People in this state have sued the company accusing it of violating their privacy because the cars also collected data from open Wi-Fi networks.
A US District Court in Portland, Oregon, ordered Google to make two copies of a hard drive containing data from the United States and turn them over to the court.
We managed to get hold of the ruling, which read: “The court having reviewed the submissions of the parties, and held oral argument on May 24 2010, hereby orders the defendant, Google Inc shall within 10 days of this order: Produce two bit-by bit exact mirror image copies of existing hard drive (as described by the defendant as an encrypted hard drive containing the ‘payload’ data ) from the United States.”
We contacted Google but it would not comment on the ruling. However, with so many privacy problems surrounding it, it should really have a record statement.
However, it describes its Wi-Fi capture as a way to enhance location-based services on smartphones when it was first revealed that the company was doing this in April.
However after an audit requested by Germany, Google acknowledged it had been mistakenly collecting samples of “payload data.”