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Judges ponder location for Google privacy lawsuits

September 14, 2010

A panel of federal judges is deciding where to consolidate several lawsuits against Google Inc. that allege the company violated wiretapping laws.

At least nine lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed in the United States so far contending that Google collected fragments of e-mails, Web surfing data and other online information from unencrypted wireless networks as it photographed neighborhoods for its “Street View” Google Maps feature. Google is also facing investigations or inquiries in 38 states as well as in several countries, including Germany, Spain and Australia.

The Mountain View, Calif., company said in May it inadvertently collected the data from public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries, but it maintains it never used the data and it hasn’t broken any laws.

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