Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an appeal made by Google. The proposed appeal was on a lawsuit the Supreme Court made on whether Google violated wiretapping laws, when Google got access to citizen’s private lives through their Wi-Fi systems, which they wanted to do to get more information for their street mapping project.
However, there are no comments thus far from the justices. Many were expecting the justices to state whether Google violated federal wiretapping laws, which many think they have by shooting photos with their car cameras in residential neighborhoods. And, through the federal appeals court in San Francisco, its public knowledge that Google wanted to receive people’s emails, usernames, passwords, images, and documents through using unencrypted Wi-Fi. But, Google did release a statement of their own. According to the popular search engine, they broke no laws because Wi-Fi is technically a radio communication, and it’s consistently accessible to anyone.
And, Google has conceded to the fact that their cars are taking pictures of private residences, and the cars are collecting data from Wi-Fi networks in the area, as well. In fact, if there were any unsecured Wi-Fi networks nearby, the car collected the information from them. But, that’s not all. Back in 2010 Google caught the attention of German authorities for the same thing. However, Google has said this data collection was completely by accident. And, after the incident, Google said they would never do that again and that they haven’t since. However, Google did reach a $7 million settlement with over 30 different states last year, which was a result of their data collections.
Even though Google stands by the fact that they broke none of the wiretapping laws, a federal judge from San Francisco refuses to dismiss the case. And, with no comment, the Supreme Court just rejected the appeal.