So, let me get this straight:
- Google sent cars driving around the world to gather data about the areas they pass through.
- Amongst things they captured:
- 3D topographical data
- Panoramic photographs
- Wireless signals
- They sniffed for any wifi signals that were being broadcast in the proximity and captured the raw signal.
- Some people don't have security enabled on their wireless networks
Thus, because Google sniffed whatever was about and because some people don't use security on their networks their information was gathered. It was gathered in much the same way that anyone could and frankly these people who were snooped were broadcasting their details to anyone who could hear.
Last time I checked it wasn't illegal to receive/record broadcasts, let alone those that are unencrypted! The entire process of prosecution of Google for this is a preposterous farce which the press can enjoy and which can give civil servants something to keep them occupied.