(Source: The Globe and Mail)
Street View Wi-Fi data guffaw bytes Google in Germany

Google has been in hot water around the world for collecting Wi-Fi data using its Street View vehicles. In the United States, Google was in trouble with the FCC for allegedly knowingly using its Street view vehicles to capture data from users (via open Wi-Fi networks) as the Street View cars rolled past homes and businesses.

Google is also in trouble in Germany over illegally collecting Wi-Fi data using its Street View cars. Google has now been fined €145,000, working out to $189,230 by German regulators.

German regulators say that Google's vehicles captured data such as the contents of e-mails, passwords, photos, and chat protocols using its cars between 2008 and 2010.
Google continues to maintain that Street View project leaders never wanted the Wi-Fi data and neither looked at or used the data. Google says that it was an error that allowed the vehicles to collect Wi-Fi data at all.

While €145,000 sounds like a lot of money to most people, that is a pittance to a gigantic corporation such as Google. Hamburg data regulator Johannes Caspar said that fines for negligent data rule violations are limited to €150,000 under German law. He believes that this fine limit should be raised to deter future unlawful behavior.
German authorities dropped a related criminal case against Google last year.

Source: Bloomberg

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