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Google hit with $7M fine for scooping email passwords, medical records via Street View
Google has admitted it broke privacy laws with its Street View technology and will pay $7 million to the 38 states that sued — one of the largest amounts ever imposed for similar digital violations.
The company announced its settlement on Tuesday, and privacy rights groups were quick to applaud.
Still, some see the fine as measly; Google reportedly brings in $32 million each day. But Mr. Rotenberg said the settlement amount was 200 times larger than what the Federal Communications Commission fined Google last year when the company was found to be obstructing the feds’ investigation into Street View.
Street View is a Google creation that deploys specially devised vehicles to photograph homes and offices around the world. But the technology was also scooping up private information — including emails, medical and financial records, online account passwords and the like. The technology was able to grab the data from unencrypted wireless networks, The Boston Globe reports.
”Consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” George Jepsen, Connecticut’s attorney general, said in a statement Tuesday published by the Globe. ”This agreement recognizes those rights and ensures that Google will not use similar tactics in the future to collect personal information without permission from unsuspecting consumers.”
Google must also require employees participate in programs about privacy, as part of its settlement agreement.
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About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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