Google fined £4.6m for Street View data snooping

14/03/2013

Google has been forced to pay £4.6m to US authorities after it collected people's personal information, including emails, passwords, web histories as it compiled data for its Street View mapping service.

The company intercepted the information through home wireless networks as Street View cars photographed homes between 2008 and 2010.

Google has also agreed to destroy the data collected from 38 US states and the District of Columbia, and said they were "pleased" with the agreement.

In a statement, the firm said: ‘We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn’t, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue.

‘The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn’t use it or even look at it. We’re pleased to have worked with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and the other state attorneys general to reach this agreement.’

Google is also claiming that the collection of the information was the result of a piece of script put in by a rogue coder which they didn't spot.

This is the largest penalty that Google has paid so far in the US for snooping.

As well as the fine, Google is also required to have a training program about privacy and data use which it must continue for at least 10 years.

It must also launch a public service campaign to educate consumers about how to secure their information on wireless networks.

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