Two weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed its investigation into the collection of Wi-Fi network data by Google Street View vans, the FCC said it would launch its own probe based on Google’s admission last month that Internet user passwords, e-mail messages, and web addresses were included in the Wi-Fi data that was intercepted by the company. The FCC’s announcement on Wednesday represents the latest development in a saga that began in May when Google first disclosed that equipment aboard Google vans that is used to obtain data for the company’s Street View map service and to track the location of Wi-Fi hot spots had inadvertently collected unsecured web “payload” data transmitted by web surfers over Wi-Fi connections. Citing Google’s pledge to delete the inadvertently collected data and to undertake corrective measures aimed at preventing a recurrence, the FTC terminated its investigation without further action. Various foreign governments are, however, continuing to review the company’s actions. Google’s admission is also the subject of a multi-state probe led by Connecticut Attorney General and U.S. Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who described the data collection incident as a “deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy.” Pointing to Google’s most recent disclosure about the collection of complete e-mails and “other personal information wirelessly from unsuspecting people,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison confirmed that the FCC “is looking into whether these actions violate the Communications Act.” While again voicing regret, a Google spokesman stressed: “as we assured the FTC, which has closed its inquiry, we did not want and have never used the payload data in any of our products and services.” Applauding the FCC probe, an official of the Electronic Privacy Information Center noted that, “while the interception of communications traffic may have been accidental, the collection of Wi-Fi device name and location information was not.”