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Public Statements

Pallone Urges Federal Investigation of Google's Unauthorized Consumer Data Collection


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Friday released the following statement regarding Google's unauthorized collection of consumer data from wireless networks by vehicles taking pictures for the site's street view function.

"It is concerning to know that for three years Google has gained access to personal WiFi networks and collected information about consumers' Internet activities.

"While driving through cities taking photographs for Google map's "Street View," Google has been intercepting information about consumers' web surfing habits. Even though Google has claimed this practice was unintentional and has not used this data, consumer privacy has been breached and consumer confidence in Google has suffered.

"It is critical that the appropriate oversight committees in Congress investigate Google's activities to see whether there was a breach of consumer privacy and security. Consumers have the right to know exactly how Google collected their data and what type of data was collected by the company.

"I urge both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to conduct investigations into whether these actions were illegal and if they are considered unfair and deceptive practices.

"In order to permit a thorough and detailed investigation, I urge Google to preserve all relevant evidence, including retaining any and all documents, data, e-mail communications, and any other materials related to Google's collection, use and disclosure of consumers' personal information. Knowing their history, I expect Google will fully cooperate in any investigation related to this privacy breach and that Google will take immediate steps to ensure that no evidence is destroyed."

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