Street View cars collected private data, and Google gets fined... again

Street View cars collected private data, and Google gets fined... again
Google's Street View project is the best thing that happened to navigation since the invention of the global positioning system satellite constellation. No other company has reached as far as Google in recording the actual look of roads and the houses lining them, from remote places in Nepal to your home street.

The project required a massive investment which Google hopes to recuperate with business listings on its Maps as the funky looking Street View cars with their 360 cameras and Lidar setup need to scout the world's roads continuously.

Those cars, however, have been collecting not only funny situations on the road, faces or license plates that had to be censored afterwards but your home Wi-fi, emails and passwords as well. Upon realization of the practice that Google called a mistake, it still agreed to settle the matter for $7 million in 2013, for data collected in the 2007-2010 period. At the time, Google agreed to delete the collected data and set up tutorials for people to secure their home Wi-fi in the process. 

Intriguingly enough, the company is in hot water over that issue again now in 2019. It has reportedly agreed to pay extra $13 million and... delete the data again. Some of the money will be given to the original plaintiffs, and the rest distributed to various consumer protection and data privacy organizations. One of them, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, commented on the matter expressing surprise that the issue is still in focus:


While Google again denies any wrongdoing, it remains to be heard why exactly the Wi-fi data collection issue resurfaced with new settlement details. Street View - great. Trawling for private wireless network info - weak sauce.

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8 Comments

1. Gryffin

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 19, 2018

next Skynet?

2. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

It's not the only private info they are stealing..

3. Habib111

Posts: 45; Member since: Feb 12, 2019

And they say Huawei using backdoors. No matter how much Google pays would not be enough for the information they have gathered

4. MsPooks

Posts: 217; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

We care about your privacy...until we don't. Do no evil...until we want to.

5. notfair

Posts: 762; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

these low fines are pocket change for big corporations, until they fine them billions nothing will change, they will practice the same shady shit "by mistake". f**k them.

7. superguy

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

They'll see it as the cost of doing business.

6. tokuzumi

Posts: 1957; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

There's always a backup of the data they were supposed to get rid of. Anyone who thinks any company will permanently delete data is naive. My guess is someone who knew of the data's existence was recently let go and did a little whistle blowing on the big Google in retaliation.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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