UPDATE 3-Connecticut asks Google if it collected Wi-Fi data

* Atty gen asks if data collected from private networks

* Calls sweeps ‘pernicious invasion of privacy’

* Google says will continue to cooperate with authorities
(Adds Google response, paragraphs 5-6)

By Scott Malone

BOSTON, June 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Connecticut’s top prosecutor
called on Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) on Monday to say whether it had
collected data from personal and business wireless networks
without the owners’ permission.

In a letter to a lawyer for Mountain View, California-based
Google, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal demanded detailed
records on any information taken from networks in the state and
how it was used.

The most-used U.S. search engine last month acknowledged
that the fleet of cars it uses to take photos of streets around
the world for a three-dimensional mapping service had for
several years been collecting information from open Wi-Fi
networks that could include e-mail messages and passwords.

“Drive-by data sweeps of unsecured Wi-Fi networks here
would be deeply disturbing, a potentially impermissible,
pernicious invasion of privacy,” Blumenthal said in a
statement. “My office can evaluate whether laws were broken.”

Google said it would cooperate with authorities.

“We’re continuing to work with the relevant authorities to
answer their questions and concerns,” said spokeswoman
Christine Chen, in an e-mailed statement.

In May the company said the collections had been
accidental. The company had intended to collect information on
Wi-Fi hotspots for other location-based services.

The state of Missouri began a similar inquiry on Friday.

Australia’s attorney general on Sunday asked that country’s
police to investigate whether Google had broken
telecommunications privacy laws by collecting the Wi-Fi data.

Google’s fleet of camera-equipped vehicles have traveled
the roads of more than 30 countries since 2006, collecting
photos for the company’s Street View mapping service. They have
also been lightning rods for controversy, with privacy
advocates contending that some of its cameras shot over fences
into private homes.

Google said on Sunday it would cooperate with the Australia
police investigation.

Blumenthal, a 64-year-old Democrat, is running for the U.S.
Senate, seeking to fill the seat to be vacated by the retiring
Christopher Dodd.

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(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Maureen Bavdek and
Derek Caney)

UPDATE 3-Connecticut asks Google if it collected Wi-Fi data