To close the Federal Communications Commission’s investigation, Google has been hit with a 25 000 dollar fine. Wi-Fi Data was illegally collected by Street View vehicles.
The Federal Communications Commission has decided to fine Google 25 000 dollars. This fine is punishment for the company following an investigation into the illegal collection of Wi-Fi data from user’s unprotected networks.
The investigation began in 2010. Through their Street View program which provides photographic information for Google Maps taken from the ground level from their specially developed vehicles, Google used the opportunity to collect private information from discovered Wi-Fi networks.
This information was collected between 2006 and 2010, with Google previously copping a fine of 100 000 Euros from the CNIL in France. The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés in France criticised the search giant for recording technical information (SSID identification and MAC addresses of access points), as well as data about "users, identified or identifiable".
Among this information was connection information related to Web sites, email passwords, email addresses and email messages "which reveal sensitive information about the sexual orientation and health of people".
Google claimed the collection took place after one of their engineer’s independently left erroneous code in the implemented solution. Google therefore promised to delete all contentious information which was under the control of a third party.
The FCC hands down a fine at the end of their investigation While the FCC has handed down a small fine, it’s not for violating telephony listening laws. The US commission doesn’t believe that there is enough proof to find such a violation took place.
But Google did "deliberately block and delay" the FCC’s investigation for a number of months. The Google engineer who developed the contentious code used to copy the Wi-Fi data refused to be a witness for the FCC.
A Google spokesman stated in a release: "We worked in good faith to answer the FCC’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we’re pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law."