Google to be sued over 'snooping'

Google Google to face privacy legal action

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The US Supreme Court has rejected Google's appeal to dismiss legal action accusing it of breaking privacy laws.

In 2010 Google admitted accidentally collecting personal data from unencrypted wi-fi networks while building its Street View program.

Its cars collected emails, usernames and passwords between 2008 and 2010.

According to USA Today, Google has been the subject of nearly a dozen civil actions. And those suing the search giant are now "pressing forward".

"In 2011, those lawsuits were combined in one class action in federal court in San Francisco," it said.

Google is accused of breaking the US Wiretap Act, which "regulates the collection of the content of wire and electronic communications" and restricts unauthorised interception.

The BBC understands Google argued the information collected fell under an "accessible to the public exception" clause, which permits the interception of electronic communication if it is readily accessible to the general public.

In an official blog post, the company said: "We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it."

Google has already agreed to pay $7m (£4,1m) to settle an investigation into the matter, "involving 38 US states and the District of Columbia", according to a report from Reuters news agency.

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