Google fined over illegal Wi-Fi data capture again

Google Street View Wi-Fi data swoop deemed legal
Snooping on more than it should have been

Google will have to cough up €145,000 (£125,000/$190,000/AUS$185,000) to German data regulators for illegally gathering personal data, including emails and passwords, with its Street View cars.

Google's cars captured data for the service between 2008 and 2010. During this time, it said that it unintentionally collected emails, photos and passwords. It also failed to then delete that data.

"In my estimation this is one of the most serious cases of violation of data protection regulations that have come to light so far," said Johannes Caspar, Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

It was ruled that Google had captured and saved data without authorisation. A third party has now overseen that the data has been deleted.

Not enough

The investigation has been going on for some time, but in November 2012 it was decided that Google would not undergo a criminal investigation as no violations had been found by that point.

Then Caspar reopened proceedings, leading to Google finding itself in more hot water. We say more as this isn't the first attack on Google over the Street View ordeal.

Google was previously fined a hefty amount by France, while the UK levied no fine, only requesting that all the data be deleted and no more be collected.

Google's fine almost hits the €150,000 limit, but Caspar requested that the maximum amount be increased in the future.

We've approached Google for comment, and will update if we hear more.

Via Bloomberg

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.