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Google loses another appeal in Street View privacy case

Jaikumar Vijayan | Jan. 6, 2014
A U.S. appeals court has once again rejected Google’s argument that it did not break federal wiretap laws when collecting user data from unencrypted wireless networks for its Street View program.

Respite for Google
Last September, the Ninth Circuit upheld the District Court’s ruling after Google filed an appeal. This week’s ruling reaffirms that opinion.

However, it also deletes a significant portion of the earlier ruling in which the court held that unencrypted communications sent from or received by an open Wi-Fi network was not generally accessible to the public. The court also granted a Google request for a rehearing of the case.

Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), said the amendment is significant for Google.

”It’s fairly rare for a court to significantly modify a previous opinion,” Castro said. With the appellate court’s first ruling, Google almost did not have a case. This week’s opinion “opens the door for them to continue to argue the case.”

A Google spokesperson expressed muted satisfaction over the developments. “We’re pleased that the Court granted our request for a rehearing and revised its opinion. But we are disappointed that the order was not completely reversed and are considering our next steps.”

Source: TechHive


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