EPIC Seeks More Details About Google's WiFi Snooping
When the Federal Communications Commission released its final report on Google's Wi-Spy fiasco, the agency kept some of its findings out of the public record by blacking out large swaths of text.
Doing so was a mistake, says the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It is critical that lawmakers and the public have all the information in order to make an informed evaluation of Google's practices and the quality of the FCC's investigation," EPIC says in a Freedom of Information Act request sent to the FCC this week.
The FCC last week recommended fining Google $25,000 for failing to cooperate with an investigation into whether its Street View cars broke any laws by collecting payload data -- including URLs of sites visited, email and passwords -- from WiFi networks that weren't password-protected.
The 25-page report appears to contain new information about the snooping, but many key details have been blacked out.
EPIC says those missing details include "information about the total volume of private data collected," as well as "information related to Google's intent in capturing private Wi-Fi data, such as the purposes for which a Google engineer initially reviewed payload data."
The organization is now requesting that the FCC release the report in its entirety, along with internal documents created as part of the investigation, and communications relating to the probe.
EPIC rightly argues that the public is entitled to more details about what information was collected by Google. After all, the investigation was taxpayer-funded, and deals with an issue of concern to many people. If the FCC has a good explanation for keeping some of its findings confidential, the agency has yet to provide it.