Google, CT headed for showdown over Street View

If Google doesn't comply with a demand from the State of Connecticut for its Street View data by the end of today, it could face additional legal action.

As the hours tick away before the close of business today, it appears Google is not going to comply with a demand from the State of Connecticut for the data gathered through its Street View project.

Google technically has until 5 p.m. ET today to turn over the payload data it says it inadvertently gathered, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. The Wall Street Journal obtained a statement from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office implying that Google had already decided against complying with the civil investigative demand issued last week by Blumenthal's office.

"I am disappointed by Google's failure to comply with my information demands. We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps--including possible legal action--are warranted," Blumenthal said in the statement, a copy of which was also obtained by CNET.

However, Google refused to acknowledge one way or another whether it planned to meet the 5 p.m. deadline, adding a vague sentence to its standard response regarding inquiries about the Street View project , in which it gathered samples of user data--including e-mails and passwords--from unsecured wireless hot spots around the world.

"As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks. As soon as we realized what had happened, we stopped collecting all WiFi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities. We did not want and have never used the payload data in any of our products and services. We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward, as well as to answer their further questions and concerns," Google said in the statement, which it said would be its final word on the deadline.

Google has allowed governments in other parts of the world to review the data gathered through the Street View project, most recently in Canada . But it has not done so in its home country, having hinted in the past that it doesn't necessarily think turning over all that data to the government is the best idea. A representative for Blumenthal, who will leave the Attorney General's office in January to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate, said should Google fail to comply with the deadline the office will evaluate its options, which could include a lawsuit or further negotiations.

In addition to Blumenthal's investigation , Google is also facing a civil class action lawsuit over the project in California.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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