June 4, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster today sent a letter to Google, asking the company to provide details on personal information it may have collected from Missourians in connection with Google's Street View Service. Recent media reports and admissions by the company indicate that as part of Google's effort to collect data for its mapping service Street View, the company may have gained access to residents' communications sent over public Wi-Fi networks.
"I am concerned at the possibility that Missourians' privacy could have been violated by Google's tactics for gathering information," Koster said. "We expect Google to provide information to us so we can ascertain whether there is any threat to Missourians' private information, and take action if necessary to protect it."
Koster's letter asks Google to explain to the Attorney General's office the nature of the data it collected in Missouri, how that data were used, to whom it was disclosed, and protections that Google had in place to ensure the information would not be improperly utilized. The letter also asks that Google preserve all the data it collected from Missouri residents until the company has adequately answered the state's questions and appropriate regulatory agencies also have the opportunity to investigate the situation.