Tags: Google | fine | breaches | Italy

Google Pays Italy Biggest Fine in EU for Street View Breaches

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 08:18 AM

Google Inc. paid a company-record 1 million-euro ($1.37 million) fine to Italian data watchdogs who said its fleet of 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 penalties for collecting data from unrestricted wireless connections to gather people’s personal communications.

The owner of the world’s biggest Internet search engine has already taken 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 today.

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 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.

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Google Inc. paid a company-record 1 million-euro ($1.37 million) fine to Italian data watchdogs who said its fleet of Street View cars drove incognito across the country, violating the privacy of citizens caught on camera without their knowledge.
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2014-18-04
Friday, 04 Apr 2014 08:18 AM
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