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Oklahoma Joins In Privacy Settlement With Google

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File photo of the Google web page. File photo of the Google web page.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt joined attorneys general from 37 states and the District of Columbia in a $7 million settlement with Google, according to a news release from his office.

The news release says the settlement is over Google's collection of data from unsecured wireless networks while taking photographs for its Street View service between 2008 and March 2010.

Google acknowledges that its Street View cars were equipped with antennae and open-source software that collected network identification information for use in future geolocation services.

Google also collected and stored data frames and other "payload data" that were transmitted over those unsecured business and personal wireless networks, according to the news release.

Pruitt's office says Google represented it was unaware the payload data was being collected.

However, the news release says, the agreement of "voluntary compliance" company officials signed with the states on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, acknowledged the information may have included URLs of requested web pages, partial or complete e-mail communications and any confidential or private information being transmitted to or from the network user while the Street View cars were driving by.

"This hard-fought settlement was the result of nearly two years of negotiation," Pruitt said. "It is a fair resolution of the states' complaints and it recognizes the privacy rights of individuals whose information was collected without their permission."

Pruitt's office says 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 consent.

The news release says the information collected was segregated and secured and under terms of the agreement "will be destroyed as soon as legally practicable."

Google also agreed that the payload data was not and will not be used in any product or service and that the information collected in the United States was not disclosed to a third party.

Pruitt's office says the agreement also requires Google to run an employee training program about privacy and confidentiality of user data for at least 10 years.

The agreement also requires Google to conduct a public service advertising campaign to help educate consumers about steps they may take to better secure their personal information while using wireless networks.

Other states participating in the settlement are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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