Google did promise to pay out up to $7 million as well as get rid of a bevy of information and data that they picked up via unsecured Wi-Fi networks through the use of their Street View cars, where among them include user passwords, emails, and other kinds of miscellaneous information. Just when the folks at Google thought that that’s that, along comes the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that has denied Google’s attempt to dismiss wiretapping claims in a class action suit that concerns the current debacle.
Google’s legal eagles came from a viewpoint that what they did could actually be exempted from being classified as a wiretap, considering how data that is transmitted over Wi-Fi happens to be an electronic communication which can be easily accessed by the general public. The judges’ panel did not share the same viewpoint as Google, however, and said, “Wi-Fi transmissions are not ‘readily accessible’ to the ‘general public’ because most of the general public lacks the expertise to intercept and decode payload data transmitted over a Wi-Fi network.” Apart form that, the court also ruled that data transmitted over Wi-Fi is unable to be classified as audio most of the time, hence it would fall “outside of the definition of a ‘radio communication.'”