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NEWTON, Mass. - Carp Law Offices LLC, on behalf of Galaxy Internet Services Inc. and its wireless customers and WiFi users in Massachusetts, on May 25 filed a class action lawsuit against Google Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Galaxy Internet Services Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., No. 1:10-cv-10871-WGY, D. Mass.).
Carp Law Offices said the suit revolves around the capture and storage of WiFi information by Google's street mapping team, who used cars equipped with sophisticated camera systems to help build Google maps, but also had covert "packet sniffing" WiFi receivers to help gather data on WiFi users in violation of both federal privacy laws and Massachusetts new data privacy law that was recently enacted.
Google has acknowledged that their Google Street View teams collected SSIDs and MAC addresses of WiFi systems it encountered in its travels across 33 countries, and that it has stored the information pending the resolution of a Congressional investigation and pending lawsuits, the law firm said.
According to Robert Carp of Carp Law Offices of Newton and Gloucester, Mass., Google's collection of data is nothing more than a further attempt to enhance its advertising capabilities.
"Google had no reason to collect WiFi information, despite their rationale that they had not used the information and that the 'payload data' they collected was only network information available to anyone," Carp said. "It is our client's belief and the belief of the class action members that the data they extracted was private information, and they have violated both Federal and Massachusetts state privacy laws."
The complaint filed by Carp asks for class action certification, and for an injunction to prevent Google from destroying any of the data that could be potentially used for evidence in a class action trial in federal court.
Download the Galaxy Internet Services Inc., et al. v. Google Inc. complaint here.
i know big brother's watching, but is google hooked up with them too?