Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, accused Google on Friday of making a "conscious effort" to collect private user information from Wi-Fi networks.
Google admitted last month that it had collected from Wi-Fi networks and stored Internet users' private data, including passwords and entire e-mails. But the company has repeatedly said the breach was an accident and that Google employees did not realize what was going on.
In an interview with the C-SPAN program "The Communicators" on Friday, Barton suggested Google's data breach was no mistake.
"In that case there appears to have been a conscious effort to collect information. Google said it was inadvertent, but it wasn't just kind of accidentally gathered, and so I do think that's something to look at," he said.
Calling the incident "very troubling," he said he would consider investigating Google if he becomes chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the next Congress. Barton added that Democrats are also concerned about Google's breach. ..