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Press Release

Alaska Joins $7 Million Multistate Settlement Over Google Street View

March 12, 2013

(Anchorage, AK) Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty today joined 38 states and the District of Columbia in a $7 million settlement with Internet giant Google over its collection of data from unsecured wireless networks. Google collected the data while taking photographs for Street View, Google’s service that provides panoramic images from positions on streets or other locations in many parts of the world.

In addition to taking photographs from its Street View cars, Google used antennae and software to collect wireless network identification information, for use in future “geolocation” services. But Google also collected data transmitted from unsecured wireless networks as the Street View cars drove by. The data included email communications and other potentially personal information.

The data collection occurred between 2008 and early 2010. Google has since disabled or removed the equipment and software used to collect the data. Under the agreement, the company is banned from collecting such information in the future without notice and consent, and it will destroy the collected data as soon as legally practicable. Google agreed that the data was not shared or used, and will not be used, in any product or service.

Google also must institute a program to train its employees on privacy issues and conduct a public service advertising campaign to educate consumers about protecting personal information while using wireless networks.

Alaska’s share of the settlement is $ 95,334.

For more information, contact Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Drinkwater at 907-269-5200

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