The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Rips Google Over Wifi Eavesdropping Investigation

Google doesn’t want to divulge information? Why not post it on Google+? That was one of several zingers Daily Show host Jon Stewart had when recapping how the US Federal Trade Commission wants to fine Google for not cooperating in an investigation over wifi eavesdropping done by Google Street View cars.

After watching a recap of the news, Stewart gets in a two-fer against Google and Facebook:

“Google, I am shocked. You stole people’s personal information without their permission? That’s Facebook’s job.”

After another news recap on how Google didn’t want to divulge the names of employees involved in how the data was gathered, Stewart laughs and says:

If you don’t want to tell anybody, you should just put that information on Google+

Then a little toss back to days of old, when Stewart jokes about his rip into Google. “Yeah, I’m a Lycos man. AltaVista? What? I guess I’m old.”

Stewart warns, “Google, the government is going to come down on you like a ton of bricks,” then shows another clip detailing the fine of $25,000.

“Boom. 25 large. That’s. Nothing. For Google. Google makes $25,000 in the amount of time it takes me to say the words $25,000.”

Stewart goes on to mock the fine over collecting personal data being less than the NFL would charge a player for doing a touchdown dance.

Of course, one reason the fine isn’t larger is something that Stewart either intentionally glossed over or didn’t understand. The FCC, like the US Federal Trade Commission before it, actually cleared Google of any wrong-doing. The FCC wanted more cooperation in the case, but if it had actually found that Google had done something illegal, the fine could likely have been much larger.

FCC Clears Google Over Wifi Eavesdropping But Fines It $25,000 For “Noncompliance” With Requests is our story from last week that covers this more. Our Google Maps Privacy: The Street View & Wifi Scorecard page also has more information. And enjoy the whole Daily Show segment below:

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Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Legal | Google: Privacy | Top News


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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