Way back in the year 2010 Google was accused and essentially found guilty of (perhaps accidentally) using their Google Maps street mapping cars to collect personal information from Wi-fi networks. As they drove through your neighborhood, they collected all the data there was to be had floating around the area - or so that's what the situation seemed to be when Google explained that they were "mortified by what happened" when the news broke. Now the FCC is fining Google saying that they had "deliberately impeded and delayed" an investigation into this situation - this fine totaling $25,000 this month.
The FCC has noted that Google has been failing to respond to their requests for emails as well as other information and have similarly refused to identify the employees involved in the incident. The FCC is clearly not messing around with this situation, noting that although it does seem that the data collected over three years was legal to collect and keep because it was not encrypted, they're still fining Google for their seemingly poor effort in helping move the investigation forward.
The FCC's report this week notes:
“Although a world leader in digital search capability, Google took the position that searching its employees’ e-mail ‘would be a time-consuming and burdensome task,’ ” - FCC
The FCC also noted that upon being requested to hand over the names of the people responsible for the program that put Google into this situation, Google responded that they “unilaterally determined that to do so would ‘serve no useful purpose.'” This fine appears to come after the FCC has ultimately decided Google was free of legal trouble, again because the data in question was not encrypted. To this, Google noted the following:
“We worked in good faith to answer the F.C.C.’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we’re pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law.” - Google Spokeswoman
And all was well, it seems. We'll be continuing to follow this story should any new bits turn up - at the moment it appears that the case is closed for the last time.
[via New York Times]