Google gets introduced to a $189k fine in Germany due to Wi-Fi data violation

Google gets introduced to a $189k fine in Germany due to Wi-Fi data violation
Back in 2008, Google's Street View cars were happily driving around Germany, taking 360-degree photos and... collecting data from the Wi-Fi hotspots scattered around the country. The carelessness that led to this unauthorized data collection already cost the company a lot of money. Google was recently fined $7 million by the FCC, and now we learn that it was introduced to a new, although much smaller fine in Germany - $189 000 (EUR 145 000).

Hamburg-based data regulator Johannes Caspar has said that this is one of the biggest violations of data protection rules known to him. Interestingly, Germany was actually unable to issue a bigger fine, because their upper limit for such cases is EUR 150 000, or $195 330. As you can imagine, though, Mr. Caspar would like to see this limitation put much higher, in order to make companies think twice before endangering people's confidential information.

Now, if you'd excuse us, we have a walk to take on Champs-Élysées.

via: Electronista

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11 Comments

1. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

I'm a little confused... Without getting too deep into it, what kind of "confidential information" was Google collecting?

2. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

They are saying in GSM arena the data are (including things like email, passwords and more) Read this blog.. http://blog.gsmarena.com/google-gets-145000-fine-for-collecting-wi-fi-data-with-its-street-view-cars-in-germany/

9. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Google's own blog said they captured that. That's what happens when you don't encrypt stuff (and no, not the wifi router, the stupid login page for your stuff).

3. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Then they should fine other companies

4. troutsy

Posts: 383; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Google is the honey badger of "We believe in protecting internet rights / net neutrality while violating every one of your personal rights."

5. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

That sounds like google.

6. geekfreak unregistered

Its not just about the MONEY but also about their Reputation!!

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Now if only US regulators can do the same.

8. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

"Google was recently fined $7 million by the FCC" WRONG. A bunch of morons with an axe to grind settled for that. The FCC's only fine was Google holding up on evidence.

10. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

we all do this with our cell phones when we leave wifi on to an extent. every single one of us could be fined for leaving our wifi on as we drive our cars collecting broadcast data and general network information.

11. umlguy

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 28, 2012

I guess I still don't get the issue. We have Joe public pushing his wireless network encrypted or not so that the signals can be "seen" by anyone passing by and Google gets fined for tracking where those wifi hotspots are ... not how to get into them or anything, just the fact that there is a wifi hotspot there. Big whoop!

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