Wednesday, March 13, 2013

AG Schmidt: Google settlement protects Kansans’ privacy

Kansans’ privacy rights will be protected under the terms of a settlement reached today with Google, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced.

The settlement stemmed from privacy violations by Google’s Street View cars, which were equipped with antennae and software used to collect information from unsecured wireless networks.

Google acknowledged that the information collected may have included URLs of requested Web pages, partial or complete email communications, and any confidential or private information being transmitted to or from the network user while the Street View cars were nearby.

“Kansans expect that their privacy rights are not being violated by cars driving by their homes and gathering their personal information from home computer networks,” Schmidt said. “This agreement ensures that Google will cease these practices and will securely destroy all data that was collected through this system.”

In addition, the settlement terms require Google to train employees about privacy and confidentiality of user data for at least the next 10 years.

The company must also conduct a public service advertising campaign to educate consumers about how to secure their personal information over wireless networks.

The settlement was made between Google and 39 state attorneys general.