The Supreme Court upheld a federal appeals court ruling challenged by Google that protects information on home Wi-Fi networks, leaving the tech giant open to lawsuits for some of its data collection practices.
The court rejected Google’s appeal, affirming the lower court’s decision that the U.S. Wiretap Act includes information on unencrypted home Wi-Fi networks, Bloomberg reports. In several class-action lawsuits, Google has been accused of gathering emails, usernames and passwords with its fleet of vehicles used for collecting images for Street View.
Google has since apologized for the data collection but insists that it has not done anything illegal. The U.S. Wiretap Act prohibits interception of wire and electronic communications, but Google has argued that Wi-Fi networks fall under the exception made for radio signals.