The tension over Google’s collection of sensitive WiFi data has risen again. Today, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued a civil investigative demand requiring that Google share the information gathered by its Street View cars.
Blumenthal defined the demand as being the equivalent of a subpoena, meaning Google should have little choice but to comply. It’s supposed to do so in the near future, too, as Blumenthal’s only given the company until December 17th to obey.
Then, even if Google does behave, it doesn’t look like Blumenthal is inclined to just say "thanks" and let the matter drop.
Blumenthal asserted in a statement, "We need to verify what confidential information the company surreptitiously and wrongfully collected and stored. . . . Verifying Google’s data snare is crucial to assessing a penalty and assuring no repeat. Consumers and businesses expect and deserve a full explanation, as well as measures shielding them from future spying."
For better or worse, the statement also noted, "Google initially claimed that the data was fragmented, but has since acknowledged that entire emails and other information may have been improperly captured. The company has called the improper data collection an accident."
Google hasn’t yet hinted how it will respond to this development.