Google has decided to voluntarily release the results of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) probe into its Street View privacy probe. The governmental organization looked into allegations that the search giant was collecting data from millions of households throughout the country, specifically information about wireless networks. The FCC concluded that what Google did was wrong but not illegal.
However, the search engine company said that it was inadvertent, and blamed a single engineer who inserted code into the Google Street View car software that the rest of Google didn’t know about. That engineer did not provide testimony to the FCC, using his 5th Amendment right. However, assertions that Google simply didn’t know it was happening are refuted in the report, since the engineer in question told other employees and included the information in a report.
All in all, Google was slapped with a $25,000 for obstruction of the FCC investigation, a mere slap on the wrist for the company. However, the negative publicity is a much harsher sentence, and that’s why Google has decided to be transparent and make the report available for all to see. Initially, it only provided snippets of the report, but now, the entire thing has been posted online, with the only adjustment that specific names have been blacked out.
[via LA Times]