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Wireless Data Collection Suable Under Wiretap Act

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

July 1, 2011

A federal judge has found that Google can be sued for collecting private data from open wireless routers, saying that "plaintiffs plead facts sufficient to state a claim for violation of the Wiretap Act," reports Wired. U.S. District Judge James Ware said, "In particular, plaintiffs plead that defendant intentionally created, approved of and installed specially-designed software and technology" used to intercept data from wireless networks. The report calls the ruling a "serious legal setback" for Google and notes that it also sets precedent for data collected through open WiFi networks in public spaces. Google maintains that the collection was a mistake and says the lawsuit is "without merit."
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