Breaking News Bar
posted: 4/12/2014 7:56 AM

Google pays Italy biggest EU fine for Street View breaches

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • A sign on a building is shown at Google Inc.'s new campus in Kirkland, Wash. during a media open house.

      A sign on a building is shown at Google Inc.'s new campus in Kirkland, Wash. during a media open house.
    Associated Press

 
Bloomberg News

LUXEMBOURG -- Google paid a 1 million-euro ($1.37 million) fine in Italy after the local regulator found its Street View cars drove incognito across the country, violating the privacy of citizens caught on camera without their knowledge.

It's Google's largest penalty yet after a series of clashes with data privacy regulators across the 28-nation European Union. Street View cars have also triggered fines for collecting data from unrestricted wireless connections to gather people's personal communications.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The owner of the world's biggest Internet search engine, which had about $60 billion in cash at the end of last year, already took steps to make its Street View cars more easily identifiable and to alert people that the mapping service's cars plan to pass through their neighborhood, the Italian regulator said in a statement on its website Friday.

Google cars "roamed the streets of Italy without being perfectly recognizable," so people didn't have the opportunity to "decide whether or not they want to be omitted from these captured images," Italy's data privacy regulator said in the statement. The "illegally collected data was destined for a large database of particular importance."

The Italian penalty "relates to an old case that dates back to 2010," Al Verney, a Brussels-based spokesman for Google, said by telephone. "We complied with everything" the authority "required of us at the time."

The Italian fine surpasses a December penalty by Spanish regulators over Google's collection of personal information on its users without in many cases explaining what data it collected and what it used it for.

France's data watchdog made Mountain View, Calif.-based Google pay 100,000 euros in 2011 for Street View privacy lapses. The Hamburg privacy regulator last year fined Google 145,000 euros for collecting wireless-network data from 2008 to 2010.

The EU is seeking to empower national agencies to go beyond current penalties that are more symbolic than punitive for global companies such as Google.

Lawmakers are weighing proposals paving the way for fines of as much as 100 million euros or 5 percent of yearly global sales for privacy violations.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here