Thirty-seven states, including New York, announced a $7 million settlement with Google today over its unauthorized collection of data from unsecured wireless networks, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
In a news release, Schneiderman said that between 2008 and March 2010, Google took photographs for its street view service and stored information — including email and text messages, passwords, and web histories — that had been sent through unsecured wireless networks without consent from consumers.
The agreement states that Mountain View, Ca.,-based, search-engine giant will secure and destroy the information and conduct an employee-training program. It will also conduct a national educational advertising campaign, Schneiderman said.
New York’s share of the settlement is $192,000.
“Consumers have a right to protect their vital personal and financial information from improper and unwanted use by corporations like Google,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “This settlement addresses privacy issues and protects the rights of people whose information was collected without their permission. My office will continue to hold corporations accountable for violating the rights of New Yorkers.”
The Democratic attorney general said Google has disabled or removed both the equipment and software it used to collect the data.
Other states in the settlement are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.