Associated Press, Published March 09 2013
Google to settle lawsuit alleging it collected passwords from unprotected Wi-FiSAN FRANCISCO — Google will pay a $7 million penalty to settle a multistate investigation into the Internet search leader's collection of emails, passwords and other sensitive information sent over wireless networks in neighborhoods throughout the country several years ago.
A person familiar with the matter says the resolution will close a joint investigation by more than 30 states. The person asked not to be identified because the settlement isn't expected to be announced until early next week.
The case dates back to 2010 when Google Inc. revealed that company cars taking street-level photos for its online mapping service also had been vacuuming up personal data transmitted over wireless networks that weren't protected by passwords.
Google has maintained it didn't break any U.S. laws and has apologized for a breach of online etiquette.