Single Mega-Lawsuit for Google over Wi-Fi Snafu

Google is trying to fuse up the growing number of lawsuits against the company following the company’s accidental Wi-Fi data collection. For the time being, a privacy group analyzed the situation and accused Google of having criminal intent with the whole catastrophe.

However following to all these debate going on, Google filed a motion in the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation this week. Perhaps it is looking for a roll up of the eight lawsuits along with any of those that might turn up in the future related to the data collection situation into a single case. Google told that the complaints in the Google Wi-Fi Cases emphasize a claim under the federal Wiretap Act. Adding to this Google also told that all of the complaints make very similar factual allegations which would ultimately lead to discovery of common facts every time.

The Case

Moreover because the cases are filed under different state laws of the country and thus come under different jurisdictions; Google disagrees in its proposal that there is a probability for conflicting pretrial rulings especially with respect to the proper scope and extent of discovery. Class certification and other factual and legal matters also added up in the proposal, that it would like a single, fiend suit to be filed in the US District Court of Northern District of California – which is the company’s home turf.

Infringement of Privacy

Meanwhile, Privacy International has turned up the heat on Google after having analyzed an independent report on the situation conducted by technical services firm Stroz Friedberg. The report that Stroz Friedberg has given throws light on a detailed study of what kind of data Google’s code did and did not collect, along with how it was processed and stored. In simple words, a program called gslite sniffed packets from unprotected Wi-Fi networks as Google’s Street View cars rolled down the street, this cars separating out encrypted and decrypted content that it found on the networks. The encrypted data that they found was dumped while the decrypted data was then written to the car’s hard drive.

Criminal Charges

Because of this specific behavior of the program, PI said that it’s clear that Google did not do it by mistake at all. It is a criminal act commissioned with intent to violate the privacy of communications. The group says that some jurisdictions allow for accidental interception of data, but that Google clearly had an intention to intercept and therefore is in violation of criminal law. Some of them however have other views; the other group says that the accidental personal data collection happened on open and unprotected data networks. They added that Google did not; one should not be alleged of criminal offence if you check out an unprotected network. It was the fault of the ones using those networks who kept it unprotected for someone to breach into it. Moreover, coming to Google’s rescue this group adds up the things that the company has done in the past of the people.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke openly last week about the company’s gaffes, adding that he hoped Google’s honesty would help reassure the public that it wouldn’t happen again. Although most of the 600GB of data collected globally probably consists of downloaded applications.

However one can say that Google has definitely hit a sensitive nerve among users, privacy groups, and lawmakers alike.

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