Google Rebuffed by U.S. High Court on Privacy Lawsuit

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Google, leaving the company to face lawsuits accusing it of violating a federal wiretapping law by secretly collecting personal data while developing its Street View maps. Electronic Privacy Information Center President Marc Rotenberg speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Google Inc. (GOOG), leaving the company to face lawsuits accusing it of violating a federal wiretapping law by secretly collecting personal data while developing its Street View maps.

The justices today left intact a federal appeals court ruling that the U.S. Wiretap Act protects the privacy of information on unencrypted in-home Wi-Fi networks.

Google, the world’s most-used Internet search engine, is accused in class-action lawsuits of gathering e-mails, user names and passwords while using a fleet of camera-equipped vehicles that drove around the country to collect images for Street View.

Google has apologized for collecting the personal information, while saying it didn’t violate the law. The Mountain View, California-based company has faced government investigations around the world over its data-gathering practices.

The Wiretap Act bars the unauthorized interception of wire and electronic communications. At the Supreme Court, Google argued that the Wi-Fi networks fit within an exception in the Wiretap Act for radio signals.

The case is Google v. Joffe, 13-1181.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Google Inc., the world’s most-used Internet search engine, is accused in class-action lawsuits of gathering e-mails, user names and passwords while using a fleet of camera-equipped vehicles that drove around the country to collect images for Street View. Close

Google Inc., the world’s most-used Internet search engine, is accused in class-action... Read More

Close
Open
Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Google Inc., the world’s most-used Internet search engine, is accused in class-action lawsuits of gathering e-mails, user names and passwords while using a fleet of camera-equipped vehicles that drove around the country to collect images for Street View.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at poster@bloomberg.net Laurie Asseo, Mark McQuillan

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.