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Iowa and Illinois among states settling with Google over Street View

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After being accused of using unsecured wireless networks to collect data for its Street View mapping service, Google has settled with 38 states including Iowa and Illinois.

Google collected data between 2008 and 2010, including email and text messages, passwords and web browsing histories from unsecured wireless networks across the U.S.  Google’s Street View cars reportedly collected locations for millions of Wi-Fi devices around the world.

When the collection was discovered, Google blamed a “rogue engineer” for the privacy compromise.   The equipment and software used to collect the data has since been disabled or removed.

The settlement, reached March 12, 2013, includes $7 million in fines Google will pay to the states involved in the lawsuit.  It also requires Google to destroy personal information collected during the Street View project.

A new 10-year-long employee training program and a national ad campaign about privacy protection are also among the requirements of the settlement.

A spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller said Iowa’s share of the settlement is $115,428.47, which will go to the state’s consumer education and litigation fund.

In addition to Iowa and Illinois, these states agreed to the settlement:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, plus the District of Columbia.