Belfast Telegraph

Google fined over data collection

Google has been fined $25,000 (£19,200) for impeding a US investigation into data collection for its Street View project, which allows users to see street level images when they map a location.

The Federal Communications Commission said Google had collected personal information without permission and had then deliberately not co-operated with the FCC's investigation.

"Google refused to identify any employees or produce any emails. The company could not supply compliant declarations without identifying employees it preferred not to identify," according to an FCC order dated April 13.

"Misconduct of this nature threatens to compromise the commission's ability to effectively investigate possible violations of the Communications Act and the commission's rules."

Between May 2007 and May 2010, Google collected data from Wi-Fi networks throughout the United States and across the world as part of its Street View project. But Google also collected passwords, internet usage history and other sensitive personal data that was not needed for its location database project, the FCC said.