Remember how Google was the company would make money without being evil? Google’s WiFi snooping may well be the biggest black mark on Google’s aspirations of non-evilness.
This week, the Supreme Court declined to throw out Google’s appeal that it broke the law by snooping unsecured data from private WiFi networks as its cars crawled the streets snapping pictures of everybody’s homes. A federal appeals court ruled in 2013 that the U.S. Wiretap Act protects the privacy of information on unencrypted in-home Wi-Fi networks. Google is facing class-action lawsuits on the matter.
A Google spokeswoman told the New York Times that it was disappointed that Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
This is a victory for private rights on networks. It’s also proof that Google’s mission to “do no evil” is a bunch of propaganda. Let me get this straight: The company’s goal was to roll a fleet of cars across the world, taking pictures of you in your bathrobe in your garden, then publish them on the Internet for profit, all while it’s slurping up all the data you’re sending over your WiFi network?
Yep, that’s pretty evil. Google: Stop arguing about this. You are wrong. The Supreme Court is right.