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EPIC Wants FCC’s Full Report on Google Street View

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an internet privacy advocacy group, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Wednesday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the full release of its report on the investigation of Google Street View. Google Street View was under investigation for the collection and storage of data from unencrypted wireless networks. The investigation started when it was determined that Google Street View collected data about personal online usage from unsecured Wi-Fi networks for four years while intending to simply collect the locations of Wi-Fi access points.

The investigation yielded a $25,000 fine against Google, which was announced earlier this week, stating that Google “‘deliberately impeded and delayed’ its probe.”  Despite the fine, the  investigators did not find evidence that Google violated the federal Wire Tap Act as they lacked any indication that Google accessed or used the encrypted information. The redacted statement by the FCC shows that Google only filed incomplete and untimely responses to several LOIs and demand letters.

However, EPIC’s concern, and reason for the FOIA request, is that the “redacted report also raised questions about the scope of the FCC’s Street View investigation. Surprisingly, the FCC concluded that Google had not violated the federal wiretap act, even though a federal court recently held otherwise.”

According to EPIC, several other countries are also pursuing similar investigations. We’ll continue to keep you updated about this issue.

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