Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today his office will lead a multistate investigation into Google’s collection of data from personal wireless networks.

Blumenthal announced two weeks ago his office is investigating Google’s Street View service, which collected emails and other personal information from unsecure networks. And today, he announced 30 states have show an interest in a full investigation being conducted into Google’s “deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy.”

Google responded to several of Blumenthal’s questions in a June 7 letter, calling the data collection a “software mistake,” but adding that the information was in the public domain.

“The network owner can choose to make the network openly accessible (not encrypted and thus accessible by any user’s device) or closed (encrypted and available only to authorized devices),” the letter from Google’s State Policy Director John C. Burchett says.

But Blumenthal today said the letter “raises as many question as it answers,” and he expects to continue to investigate Google along with “a significant number of states.”

Blumenthal sent a second letter last week to Google’s lawyer asking an additional 15 questions and gave them until this Friday to respond.

Google has said they have “decided to stop our Street View cars from collecting WiFi data entirely.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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