37 States now investigating Google StreetView snooping

37 States are now involved in a "powerful multi-state investigation" of "Google's Streetview snooping" per a press release from investigation leader, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who released a new follow-up letter to Google asking for more information and clarification of its representations to date. 

The letter shows the investigation is very serious. Its prosecutorial exactness strongly suggests that investigators believe Google has not been forthright in its answers to date and that it could be covering up material information to the investigation. 

  • Several questions in the letter also indicate that the investigators are seriously concerned about the integrity and completeness of Google's systems of internal controls and supervision to ensure the safety and privacy of consumers. 

What appears to be the most problematic line of inquiry is whether or not Google tested this software before it was used in public to collect private information on consumers. 

  • If Google did test the code in question, then Google has misrepresented the facts and deceived investigators and the public about the scandal. 
  • If Google did not test it, Google will have to explain how code that could affect consumers' security and privacy could get out without supervision or review, which would then open up the inquiry to what other types of Google software is capturing private information on the public without appropriate and responsible Google internal controls and supervision. 

In sum, Google is in a real pickle.

  • It appears as if Google will have to admit either to misrepresentation/deception/cover-up or accept full liability for gross negligence concerning consumers' privacy/security.