Home News Science&Tech Google settles case about WiFi sniffer in Street View cars

Google settles case about WiFi sniffer in Street View cars

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Google is said to be only 13 million dollars away from the case of collecting e-mails, passwords and other personal information through its Street View cars.

The $ 13 million settlement has yet to be approved by the court, Bloomberg reports. The so-called ‘Wi-Spy’ scandal came to light in 2010. It turned out that Street View cars not only took photos on the public road, but also inadvertently collected all data from unprotected WiFi routers. In total, around 600 GB of information was collected without permission.

At the time, it was referred to as “the biggest eavesdropping scandal in American history.” In 2013, Google came close to a settlement, but the judge did not agree with Google’s defense that open WiFi could be legally intercepted, such as AM and FM radio. Meanwhile, a group of consumers also sued Google; now this is one of the few cases in which consumers are found to be right in a case against a tech company.

Only consumers who accused Google share in the $ 13 million settlement. It would be too difficult to find out from which consumers Google collected information ten years ago. The remaining amount of the settlement divided among organizations that stand up for consumer privacy.

The $ 13 million fine is a pittance for Google parent company Alphabet. The company earned on average more than $ 82 million a day in 2018, more than six times the fine. The major tech companies such as Google and Facebook have received relatively negligible fines in most privacy cases in the past few years, if they have already received fines.

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