WASHINGTON, May 31, 2010 – A U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., has ordered Google to turn over wireless data from its Street View cars which was taken while photographing neighborhoods.
Google revealed that its Street View cars were collecting wireless data in April to enhance location-based services for smartphones, but claimed that no personal information was being taken from the Wi-Fi networks. Several lawsuits have been filed against Google, including the one in Portland, alleging that Google was collecting private information such as e-mails and video belonging to the owners of home Wi-Fi networks.
Last week Google chose to retain the data, and it is declining to comment on the lawsuits. Three federal lawmakers have requested that Google explain what its intentions were in regards to the information, and the Federal Trade Commission currently has an informal probe underway to investigate the allegations.