“Google has agreed to pay $7 million as a result of an investigation brought by a coalition of state attorneys general, officials said Tuesday, in one of the largest fines for violating privacy in the digital age,” David Streitfeld reports for The New York Times. “The fine stems from the Street View case, where Google deployed special vehicles to photograph the houses and offices lining the world’s streets. But for several years the company was also secretly collecting personal information — e-mails, medical and financial records, passwords — as it cruised by. It was data-scooping from millions of unencrypted wireless networks.”
“As part of the settlement, Google agreed that it had acted improperly and agreed to engage in a comprehensive employee education program about privacy and to inform the public about securing wireless networks and protecting personal information. Thirty-eight states participated in the investigation,” Streitfeld reports. “Google has repeatedly been faulted by regulators for privacy violations. Last summer the search giant paid $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it had bypassed the privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser. That fine, the largest civil penalty ever levied by the F.T.C., came after Google agreed to be audited by the agency for 20 years for privacy violations related to a social networking feature.”
Streitfeld reports, “The attorneys general’s fine is a pittance for Google, which has a net income of about $32 million a day. Google initially denied any data had been collected from unknowing individuals, then sought to downplay what it had and fought with regulators who wanted to examine the data. ‘We work hard to get privacy right at Google,’ said Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman. ‘But in this case we didn’t.’ She added that Google has since improved its ‘systems.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In our headline initially, we transposed the “n” and the “e” in fined. Freudian.
Do know evil.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
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