Google in trouble with South Korea over WiFi snooping

Street View
Street View saw far too much, says South Korea

Google has been fined 210 million won ($196,000, £119,000, AU$223,000) for collecting personal data for its Street View service.

The search giant sent its Street View cars through South Korea between 2009 and 2010, but instead of just snapping pictures of the streets the cars also collected personal data, including internet IDs, passwords, text messages and credit card numbers.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has reacted by ordering Google to delete all of the information it collected. The issue has resurfaced following more allegations against Google in other markets.

I spy with my Google eye

"The latest penalty is the first of its kind [in South Korea] imposed on a global company that violated the private information protection laws," KCC chairman Lee Kyung-jae told the Korea Herald, adding, "the commission will punish those who collect information of the Korean public without exception."

Google has already been fined in Europe and the US for similar breaches of data. The company's continued requests to have the cases dropped, claiming that the data collection was part and parcel of the tech they used for Street View, were rejected completely.

Google settled eventually in the States for $7 million (£4 million, AU$8 million) in Germany for $189,000 (£114,750, AU$215,000) and France for $136,000 (£82,500, AU$155,340).