updated 09:58 am EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
Street View Wi-Fi data collection issue strikes again
Google has been fined 145,000 euros ($189,230) by a government regulator in Germany for collecting data from Wi-Fi connections in the country. The fine stems from when the company's Street View cars were in operation between 2008 and 2010, inadvertently collecting data packets from individuals and businesses as the fleet drove around the country.
Hamburg data regulator Johannes Caspar told Bloomberg "In my view, this is one of the biggest data protection rules violations known," and that Google's "internal control mechanisms must have severely failed." Caspar reopened the regulatory investigation after prosecutors decided to drop a criminal case over the data breach.
Under German law, fines for data violations are limited to 150,000 euros ($195,330), though Caspar wishes this to be raised in order to deter unlawful behaviour.
The same data collection issue has been investigated in other parts of the world. Last month, Google agreed with the FCC to pay a larger $7 million fine, as well as having to train its employees about privacy and confidentiality of user data for the next ten years, and to create a public service advertising campaign to educate the public on securing data on wireless networks.