WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google Inc has told the Connecticut attorney general’s office that it will not comply with its requests for information about its Street View cars collecting personal information.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, had issued a civil investigative demand, similar to a subpoena, to determine exactly what information had been scooped up by the Street View cars.
Google’s Street View cars, which take panoramic pictures of city streets, inadvertently collected data from unsecured wireless networks in more than 30 countries, Google disclosed in May.
“I am disappointed by Google’s failure to comply with my information demands,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps -- including possible legal action -- are warranted.”
“Google’s story has changed from claiming it only collected fragments to acknowledging possible capture of full emails, making review of the data even more urgent,” he said. Blumenthal takes up his U.S. Senate seat in January.
A Google representative told Blumenthal’s office in a telephone call that the company did not intend to comply with the information request, a Blumenthal spokesperson said.
Google did not respond to Reuters questions about Blumenthal’s information request.
The company has been the subject of numerous inquiries around the world over the Street View data collection.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission closed an investigation into the issue but the Federal Communications Commission still has one open.
Google initially said information was limited to “fragments” of unencrypted data because the cars were always moving and because the cars’ wireless equipment automatically changed channels about five times a second. But the company acknowledged in October that the cars actually collected more extensive information, including complete emails and passwords.
Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn
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