Google Street View investigation officially closed

Apr 27, 2012
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Google Street View investigation officially closed

Google received a slap on the wrist for the Street View fiasco where sensitive information was gleaned from open access WiFi points. Two weeks ago, Google was fined a mere $25,000 over the issue, saying that it acted in good faith and was more than happy to pay the penalty. The FCC appears to be fully satisfied, and has today declared the case against Google officially closed.

The Android giant put out a statement this morning, saying it “cooperated fully with investigations around the globe.” The FCC, meanwhile, said in an email that “In promising to pay the bureau’s penalty, [Google] has rightly admitted wrongdoing. Going forward, important concerns about the privacy of unencrypted Wi-Fi communications remain.”

Starting from May 2007, Google street cars collected information from open wireless networks that wasn’t necessary for the Street View project., including emails and passwords. Google quickly pulled the cars from the project after learning of the issue, and wiped the data it had obtained. That didn’t stop the FCC from launching a probe into the matter, resulting in the recent fine.

The Justice Department also conducted a separate and “thorough examination of the facts.” The Electronic Privacy Information Center, meanwhile, isn’t satisfied with the FCC’s findings, and is requesting information from the Justice Department.

[via Bloomberg]


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