Robert McMillan reports:
Nearly three weeks after admitting that it had sniffed sensitive data from open wireless networks around the world, Google is now facing at least seven U.S. class-action lawsuits over its practice.
John Simpson, an advocate with California’s Consumer Watchdog, says that he’s not surprised to see so many class action lawsuits. “I think the reason that there are so many is because this is such an egregious intrusion into people’s personal privacy,” he said.
People don’t expect to have their Internet communications recorded, he said. “They may be naïve, but the average person is not a technologist, and when he or she sends an e-mail or communicates data to another Web site, they don’t expect that somebody’s going to come along and snoop and suck up that data and log it in their server for future analysis.”
Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.
In related coverage, McMillan also reports that the Missouri Attorney General has sent Google a letter:
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is asking Google to answer questions about how the company’s widespread wireless-network sniffing activities may have affected local residents.
In a letter to Google Friday, Koster says it’s not clear whether Google broke state law, but adds that “there can be no doubt that the company’s conduct implicates the privacy concerns of Missouri residents.”