After acknowledging that they’ve collected “payload data” over WiFi network, without any intent of using it, and that it has deleted all “collected data”, Google is now facing a class action lawsuit in Washington state and Oregon for privacy violation. The plaintiffs Vicki Van Valin and Neil Mertz allege Google using its fleet of specially adapted vehicles installed with 3G/GSM/wi-fi antennas and wireless packet sniffers captured the MAC address, and data consisting of all or part of any documents, emails, video, audio and VoIP info over network. After Google collected and decoded Ms Van Valin’s and Mr Mertz data it stored the information on its servers. “On information and belief, hundreds if not thousands of Google employees throughout United States and world have access to data maintained on Google’s servers,” the writ alleges.
The plaintiffs requests to immediately prevent Google from destroying “payload data” because that would spoil critical evidence. Both plaintiffs’ privacy has been breached, and it’s alleged Google’s conduct breaches 18 USC §2511. Under 18 USC §2520, the plaintiffs and class members are entitled to $100 a day for each day their data was breached, or $10,000 per violation per plaintiff.