Connecticut AG demands Street View data from Google

* AG issues civil investigative demand on Street View data

* Google has until December 17 to provide access

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Connecticut’s Attorney
General formally demanded that Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) hand over
personal data collected by its Street View cars, saying that
inspecting the data is “crucial” to assessing a penalty.

In a statement on Friday, Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal said he had issued a civil investigative demand –
which the statement likened to a subpoena – to Google, in
cooperation with the Department of Consumer Protection.

“We need to verify what confidential information the
company surreptitiously and wrongfully collected and stored,”
Blumenthal said.

The civil investigative demand adds to the regulatory
scrutiny facing Google, the world’s largest Internet search
engine, stemming from a high-profile snafu involving its
Street View cars. Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications
Commission said it was looking into Google’s Street View
service to determine whether the company had violated any
federal laws.

Google’s Street View cars, which are well known for
crisscrossing the globe and taking panoramic pictures of the
city’s streets, accidentally collected data from unsecured
wireless networks used by residents in more than 30 countries,
Google disclosed in May.

Google initially said information was typically limited to
“fragments” of unencrypted data because the cars were always
moving and because the cars’ wireless equipment automatically
changed channels about five times a second. But the company
acknowledged in October that the cars actually collected more
extensive information, including complete emails and passwords.

Google was not immediately available for comment.

The Connecticut Attorney General said that Google has
until December 17 to provide access to the information. The
statement said that Google has allowed Canadian and other
regulatory authorities to review the data, but has refused to
provide the Connecticut Attorney General’s office with the
same access.

“Verifying Google’s data snare is crucial to assessing a
penalty and assuring no repeat. Consumers and businesses
expect and deserve a full explanation, as well as measures
shielding them from future spying,” Blumenthal said.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Connecticut AG demands Street View data from Google