WHILE SEARCH OUTFIT Google has been getting a kicking in Europe over its illegal sniffing of wireless networks, US watchdogs have been mysteriously disinterested.
Now all of a sudden the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said that it is investigating whether Google broke federal laws when its street-mapping service collected consumers' personal information.
Actually the FCC opened an investigation earlier this year, but had told the world that Google had done nothing worth bothering about. Now apparently it is looking at whether Google had broken federal law by sniffing the data.
What could be the prime motivator is a push from politicians in Congress who have indicated that the privacy issues raised by Google's Street View data collection could be a factor when lawmakers consider new Internet privacy legislation next year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Joe Barton suggested last week on C-SPAN that Google's data collection wasn't accidental and that it was "something to look at".
It is all a little late, but Google faces less of a problem in the US where the right to privacy laws are far less tough than in Blighty and Europe. µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster