As expected, the quiet brouhaha over Google accidentally collecting personal Wi-Fi network details when cruising in the Street View cars has turned into a lawsuit, with two Oregon citizens suing them for potentially millions.
Vicki Van Valin and Neil Mertz of Oregon are not only suing Google for collecting their data, but in a twisted logic, actually want the court to stop Google from destroying the information on them and everyone else. You’d think, especially after the FTC and European regulators launched attacks on Google for keeping Street View photos on their system for too long, those affected by the Wi-Fi data collection would actually want their details wiped for good.
If Google deletes the information it collected about people’s networks, then those who launch a lawsuit against the company won’t be able to prove an injustice was made. The injunction they’re seeking is both preliminary and permanent.
Van Valin and Mertz could get $US100 for each day their data was held, or $US10,000 for every violation – plus punitive damages, which is where they’d get the real money.
No-one can doubt that Google was in the wrong, collecting this data – but when it was accidental, and they’ve held their hands up over the error (with Sergey Brin himself admitting they “screwed up”), I can’t help but feel these people are just trying to milk Google for all it’s worth. [TechEye via The Next Web]