The US Supreme has refused to consider Google’s claim that when Street View collected unencrypted Wifi data between 2007 and 2010 that it was “readily accessible to the general public” so the collection was not a violation of the Wiretap Act” which claim was rejected in December 2013 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed an amicus brief in support of Internet users and stated:
This case involves the intentional interception of electronic communications sent over home Wi-Fi networks. The intercepted data includes personal information and communications – passwords, e-mails, financial records, and other documents – that individuals consider extremely private.
The fact that this data was transferred over a wireless network does not change its private nature. Internet users are constantly at risk of cyber attacks and exploits, but they still retain their right in law to communicate privately across computer networks.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (“ECPA”) ensures the privacy of these communications, and its protections should not be interpreted in an unfair and inconsistent way.
Now the class action suit is headed to the trial court in the California, and it will be interesting to follow since other countries around the world have held against Google.