WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., today released a response from Google after the lawmakers sent a letter to the company regarding its collection of private information over Wi-Fi networks.
Barton and Markey, co-chairmen of the House Privacy Caucus, last month wrote to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, about Google’s recent revelation that it gathered the network information.
“Google now confesses it has been collecting people's information for years, yet claims they still do not know exactly what they collected and who was vulnerable. This is deeply troubling for a company that bases its business model on gathering consumer data,” Barton said. “That failure is even more disturbing and ironic in view of the fact that Google is lobbying the government to regulate Internet service providers, but not Google. As we are contemplating privacy legislation in the committee, I think this matter warrants a hearing, at minimum.”
“Transparency and trust are the key cornerstones that form the foundation of strong privacy protections for consumers. It’s clear that in this case, Google fell short in both these areas,” Markey said. “In its response to our inquiry, Google admitted mistakes it made in this matter and indicated that it has taken corrective action, including termination of its collection of WiFi data entirely by its Street View cars. We have raised concerns about this matter with the Federal Trade Commission on this important issue and will continue to actively and aggressively monitor developments in this area.”
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