Google's data collection effort was tied to its Street View project, which sought to enhance its Google Maps platform by deploying a fleet of vehicles nationwide to photograph residences, businesses and other improvements in municipal neighborhoods. More >
Texas, along with 37 other states and the District of Columbia, resolved a lengthy investigation into Google's collection of personal information from unsecured wireless routers at private residences and businesses.
Under the agreement, Google must pay $7 million to the states involved in the investigation. They are also required to destroy all the data that was collected.
According to Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of Texas, the information included e-mail and search histories.
"For two years, Google violated Texans' privacy rights and secretly collected personal information from their wireless routers," said Abbott. "Today's agreement requires Google to destroy any personal data that was improperly collected and imposes important new privacy protections that govern the Street View program going forward."
Google initially denied that its Street View vehicles were retrieving the information, but later admitted that it had "mistakenly" engaged in the practice.
The data collection was tied to the Street View project, which seeks to enhance the Google Maps platform by sending out vehicles across the nation to photograph residences, businesses and other improvements in neighborhoods.
According to the investigation, while the properties were being photographed, the Street View vehicles were also outfitted with special devices to scan and store data from wireless networks that were not password protected.
Google initially maintained that no emails, web search histories or other personal information was collected by the vehicles, and that the collected information was limited to data that identified the existence and location of a wireless network.
However, the State's investigation showed that Google also collected data that was transmitted by these wireless networks from 2010 to 2012.
In addition to the $7 million fine and destruction of data, Google must also notify users and obtain consent before collecting additional data, implement an employee training program highlighting network users' privacy and develop a public service campaign to educate network users about how to better secure their personal information while using wireless networks.
If you have a wireless network in your home, the attorney general recommends you secure the network with a password and activate encryption features.
Friday, May 24 2013 1:47 PM EDT2013-05-24 17:47:03 GMT
Breaking News: Saginaw and Michigan State Police on are the scene of a quadruple shooting in Saginaw. Investigators confirm four people were shot at a pre-prom gathering in the parking lot of the FlorenceMore >
A 17 year old girl was shot and killed and three others wounded at a pre-prom gathering in Saginaw. The three others that were wounded were all female.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:37 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:37:48 GMT
WNEM has received word of an accident involving a STARS bus on Saginaw's east side. The accident happened near the intersection of Gallagher Street and Sheridan Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Friday. It isMore >
An accident involving a STARS transit bus on Saginaw's east side sent three people to the hospital Friday morning. The bus and a van collided and the bus then crashed into two different houses in the area.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:33 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:33:26 GMT
Remember the Kmart's "Ship My Pants" ad? Well Kmart isn't finished with their controversial ads. The company launched their latest video about Big Gas Savings on Thursday. It even features the sameMore >
The company launched their latest video about "big gas savings" on Thursday.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 11:46 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:46:21 GMT
A car crash has blocked the northbound lanes of M-13 in Bay County. Bay County central dispatch said the crash happened around 7:30 a.m. Friday just north of the Kawkawlin River Road and Russel Road. DriversMore >
The northbound lanes of M-13 have been reopened following a two-car crash in Bay County.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:04:40 GMT
MISSOURI CITY, TX (KPRC/CNN) - When a pregnant teacher in Texas collapsed, her coworkers rushed to help. The woman technically died, gave birth, and then was brought back to life. Erica Nigrelli, an EnglishMore >
A pregnant woman's heart stopped, and doctors performed an emergency c-section to rescue the baby and save the woman.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 10:45 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:45:24 GMT
Much of the Bay City State Recreation Area campground is flooded heading into the Memorial Day weekend Park manager George Lauinger tells MLive.com that 129 of the park's 189 camp sites have various amountsMore >
Much of the Bay City State Recreation Area campground is flooded heading into the Memorial Day weekend.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 1:09 PM EDT2013-05-24 17:09:19 GMT
A man has been sentenced to probation in Livingston County for threatening to cut off his children's fingers with a kitchen knife at a Thanksgiving family dinner. Circuit Judge Michael Hatty called HenryMore >
A man has been sentenced to probation in Livingston County for threatening to cut off his children's fingers with a kitchen knife at a Thanksgiving family dinner.More >