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Lawmakers Urge FCC Action On Google Wi-Fi Matter Lawmakers Urge FCC Action On Google Wi-Fi Matter Lawmakers Urge FCC Action On Google Wi-Fi Matter Lawmakers Urge FCC Action...

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Congress

Lawmakers Urge FCC Action On Google Wi-Fi Matter

February 16, 2011

Two House Energy and Commerce members are urging the Federal Communications Commission to find out more about Google's unauthorized collection of information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

In a letter Monday to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Reps. John Barlow, D-Ga., and Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who also chairs the Intelligence Committee, noted that nine months after Google acknowledged vehicles that take images for the firm's Street View service had collected data from unsecured home and business Wi-Fi networks not enough is known about the incident.

The lawmakers urged FCC action given that the Federal Trade Commission dropped its inquiry in the fall and that probes by state attorneys general have yet to yield access to the information Google collected, even though foreign governments have managed to gain access to the data that Google Street View cars collected in their countries.

"Nine months after Google first admitted to collecting this data, we still don't have answers as to how this privacy breach was allowed to take place and how many Americans were affected, let alone a credible assurance that it will not happen again," the letter said. "The lack of progress in this investigation is concerning, particularly in light of the progress made by authorities in other countries."

The lawmakers said a "serious inquiry" would require authorities to meet with the engineer that Google claims was responsible for the data collection mishap. Google has argued that data was collected by "mistake' and has pledged to cooperate with authorities on the matter.

Barlow and Rogers urged the FCC to provide information about the incident to consumers regardless of whether Google violated the law or not.

The FCC said in November that its Enforcement Bureau was investigating whether Google violated any communications laws in relation to the Wi-Fi incident but has yet to release any information related to this probe.

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