Charges Pending Against Google in WiFi Sniffing Case

Friday, January 14, 2011

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Law enforcement officials in south Korea have reportedly referred charges against Internet giant Google to prosecutors for illegally collecting private data from unsecured WiFi networks via their Street View surveys.

Police had seized some 220 hard drives from the company in raids conducted last year, and have confirmed the presence of private data from as many as six-hundred thousand individuals.

The information was collected by Google Street View survey vehicles between October 2009 and May 2010.

Officials from South Korea's Cyber Terror Response Center said the hard drives contained personal information including emails, instant messages, passwords, website IDs, credit card information, and more.

Google is now embroiled in privacy violation inquiries in about 30 different countries around the world.

South Korean officials are still evaluating whether or not to individually charge Google executives in the case, as well as pursue remedies aimed at the company a a whole.

Google claims that the collection of private data from unsecured Wifi networks was completely unintentional.

"While we have repeatedly acknowledged that the collection of payload data was a mistake, we are disappointed with this announcement as we believe Google Inc. and its employee did nothing illegal in Korea," Google Korea spokesman Ross LaJeunesses said.

Source:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/korea-charges-google-over-street-view-data-report-2011-01-13

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