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Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to Testify Before Congress on Wi-Spy Scandal

By , INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

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With the company’s Google+ service still in is infant stages, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee this September over the Wi-Spy scandal.

Reported by consumer group Watchdog, the scandal focused on Google’s use of Street View cars. The complaint alleged that the cars gathered information from private Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries without the owner’s or public’s knowledge or consent.

Upon discovery of the data collection, consumer group Watchdog mounted a campaign against Schmidt and Google releasing two satirical videos alongside its calls for a full federal investigation.

John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project commented on the news, “A top Google executive will finally face serious questioning about the company’s behavior.

“Now that Larry Page has taken over that position, he should also be held accountable and be required to testify as well. Given Google’s inconsistencies between actions and statements in the past, we trust Schmidt’s testimony will be given under oath.”

The campaign is the second Watchdog has mounted against Google. Previously the group had requested an antitrust investigation of Google be carried out by the Federal Trade Commission — the commission approved the request earlier this year.

The news comes a year after Watchdog first requested Schmidt’s sworn testimony. During last month’s hearing both Schmidt and Page declined to testify, instead sending Chief Counsel David Drummond.

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