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Lawyer: Google Wi-Fi Snooping ''Not An Accident''

A federal judge in Oregon has ordered Google to turn over the U.S.-based data it siphoned from unsecured Wi-Fi networks by Friday. While Google claims that the sniffing was merely a coding error, the search engine giant currently faces several class action lawsuits from around the country. On a global scale, it's believed that Google's privacy violations were intentional, and now evidence has surfaced to back up those claims.

Brooks Cooper, an Oregon attorney currently suing Google over the Street View dispute, said that "it is our belief that it is not an accident." He pointed to a 2008 Google patent application (pdf)--aka "776"--that describes "one or more of the methods" Google uses to collect information for Street View. The patent was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January.

Part of the patent raising a red flag describes a method to increase the accuracy of location-based services. These services would provide advertisers or other parties the location of a mobile phone or other computing devices. User locations are determined by intercepting data and analyzing the timing of transmission.

Naturally Google is disputing the patent's part in the current litigation. A company spokesperson said that patent 776 is unrelated to the software code used to collect Wi-Fi information with Street View cars. A separate statement also indicated that Google files patent applications on a variety of ideas conceived by its engineers. "Some of them mature into real products or services, and some of them don't," the spokesperson said.

Accusations against Google began earlier this year in Germany, as the country grew suspicious that the search engine giant was collecting more than just street information. Google eventually admitted that it had collected packets of information sent over Wi-Fi networks for the past three years, however the company said it was a mistake, blaming a software error.

  • mianmian
    Big bad boy, Google...
    Reply
  • dxwarlock
    Let the fanatic google doomsayers begin.

    be warned...to follow this comment will be over reaction comments of google is an evil overlord, they are taking over the world, and they are stealing your babies to search index them..
    so quick jump on the "I hate google TOO!" bandwagon with the others.

    Reply
  • Trueno07
    and they are stealing your babies to search index them..

    Beautiful.
    Reply
  • candrwhite
    dxwarlockLet the fanatic google doomsayers begin.be warned...to follow this comment will be over reaction comments of google is an evil overlord, they are taking over the world, and they are stealing your babies to search index them..so quick jump on the "I hate google TOO!" bandwagon with the others.
    Or... we could jump on the Defend Google at all costs bandwagon. Then preempt the Google haters by telling them that if the hate Google, they must be nuts. That'll Work!
    Reply
  • dxwarlock
    candrwhiteOr... we could jump on the Defend Google at all costs bandwagon. Then preempt the Google haters by telling them that if the hate Google, they must be nuts. That'll Work!or we can jump on the "belittle those that belittle the over the top naysayers, all crying google is bringing the 2012 destruction of the world" bandwagon.
    Hi pot, I'm kettle, lets have lunch..we have much on common.
    Reply
  • dxwarlock
    and im not defending them..its a lawyer, hes going to find whatever needle in a haystack he can to gain facetime and profit.
    "google tried to patent something that vaguely has to do with the google car, and what it gathers..so it MUST mean the wifi snooping was a lie"

    sure find in that patent where it says that it has anything to do with the wifi itself, and Ill agree with him.

    otherwise its like saying "the man that discovered and patented AC voltage later accidentally shocked an employee during a test..so of COURSE thats why he made it..to try to kill that man in a long drawn out plot against him"
    Reply
  • borisof007
    This is retarded. What is google going to do with 2 seconds of network traffic collected as they pass by houses that have open networks in their Google Street View cars?
    Reply
  • djcoolmasterx
    I'm just going to the point where I state that every post before me is stupid and they are all wrong even if they agree with me while pushing my own very flawed argument using ignorant circular logic that I will be too stubborn to change.

    I am also going to get Godwin's law out of the way and mention the Nazis.

    After this I will proceed to thumb down everyone else's post to make mine look better.

    Here goes:

    Google are becoming the Nazis of the internet and will take over the world using your personal data and set up death camps for bing and yahoo users.
    Reply
  • CoderDunn
    I wouldn't call non-secured wi-fi "private" ...
    Reply
  • CoderDunn
    CoderDunnI wouldn't call non-secured wi-fi "private" ...Not that I'm sticking up for google, but people need to learn how to set up security on their routers.
    Reply