Supreme Court says ‘no’ to Google Street View appeal

Google attempted to appeal a lower court’s decision to allow a class-action lawsuit against Street View to go ahead, but the Supreme Court says it doesn’t need to look at the case and so it will be allowed to go on. The lawsuit is over the collection of private WiFi data Street View cars collected, violating federal wiretap law. The action came when Google admitted that its cars were inadvertently collecting the data while taking street-level photographs of buildings and roadways for its mapping service.

The data collection, Google told German authorities, was by mistake and was noticed and stopped in 2010. A settlement of $7 million was made with 38 states in the United States over the incident (along with several settlements with international authorities). The class-action suit circumvents those settlements by including individuals who may have been affected by the data collection.

Google’s argument with lower courts was that the wiretap laws don’t include WiFi transmissions and thus it’s exempt from the Act. The Nine Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco disagreed, rejecting those arguments to allow the suit to continue forward. The Supreme Court has backed up that judge, by simply declaring it will not hear the case, thus giving Google no further alternatives for appeal on those grounds.

Google, of course, says they’re disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case.

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