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Karl A. Racine
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

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District of Columbia Joins in Multi-State Settlement with Google Over Its Street View Data Collection

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  The District of Columbia joined 38 states in a settlement with Google over its collection of data from unsecured wireless networks nationwide while taking photographs for its Street View service between 2008 and March 2010, Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan announced today.   

The matter arose out of Google’s Street View, which provides street-level pictures to online consumers.  Google’s Street View cars were equipped with antennae and open-source software that the company acknowledged collected network identification information for use in geolocation services.  Google collected and stored data frames and other “payload data” being transmitted over those unsecured business and personal wireless networks.  

The District’s proportional share of the settlement is $102,018 out of a $7 million total.  In addition, in its agreement of voluntary compliance, Google acknowledges that the information may have included URLs of requested Web pages, email communications, and confidential or private information being transmitted to or from network users intercepted by the Street View cars.  Google has since disabled or removed the equipment and software used to collect the payload data from its Street View vehicles, and agreed not to collect any additional information without notice and advance consent.

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