by Max Brantley
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he's joined in other states in pressing Google for more information about whether it's Street View map feature gathered personal data about users that was disseminated without users' knowledge to others. Or I think that's what the complaint is.
I've read a bit about the complaint (and used Street View, which gives you a photographic view of a street address), but still don't quite get the bone of contention. I gave up a long time ago on expecting privacy about just about anything. As somebody once pointed out, Street View of one location in Little Rock actually caught me and my wife walking our dog. The gun nuts proudly distributed worldwide a satellite view of my house and my phone number. They thought they were geniuses. It took some real sleuthing. I've been in the phone book 37 years.
MCDANIEL NEWS RELEASE
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today said he is participating in an ongoing multistate investigation into Google’s unauthorized collection of data transmitted over wireless computer networks.
Google has admitted that the software used in its Street View program collected data that could have included passwords, e-mails or web browsing histories. The company said the information was collected by mistake, but Google’s initial response to a May 27 letter from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal did not fully explain how the mistake occurred, what data was collected and what has happened to that data.
In Google’s response, the company provided information which the states believe is not fully responsive to the inquiry and which actually raises more questions about the Google Street View program.
A chief concern of the Attorney General's office is whether Google sold or otherwise disclosed information that may have been gathered by its Street View software.
“ The people of Arkansas deserve answers from Google as to whether they collected any sensitive data while in the state and how the company allowed it to happen,” McDaniel said. “Businesses and families need to be confident that information transmitted over wireless networks remains private. To that end, this coalition will work vigorously to get to the bottom of this and make sure something similar doesn’t happen again.”
Arkansas is among 38 states participating in the multistate investigation that began in May.
A follow-up letter from Blumenthal requests that Google identify the parties responsible for inserting code into Street View software that allowed for the unauthorized data collection. Google is asked whether it tested the software before use, since tests should have identified the code that allowed the software to snoop over WiFi networks.