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Google fined $7 million for harvesting people's personal data



by Joseph Earnest March 12, 2013


Newscast Media AUSTIN, TexasSearch engine giant Google has reached a settlement with U.S. authorities in which the company has agreed to pay a $7 million fine, for harvesting private personal Wi-Fi data of people, using its Google Street View service. The data was mined without the consent or knowledge of homeowners or businesses. Google agreed to pay the fine on condition that it would not have to admit any wrongdoing in collecting the data.


In a legal settlement with 38 states, the Internet giant agreed to destroy emails, passwords, and web histories it harvested from home wireless networks as Street View cars photographed neighborhoods between 2008 and 2010.

"This settlement addresses privacy issues and protects the rights of people whose information was collected without their permission," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

"Consumers have a right to protect their vital personal and financial information from improper and unwanted use by corporations like Google." 

The settlement and terms agreed to can be view or downloaded here. (pop-up)

Texas was one of the states that sued Google for violation of Texans' privacy, since the company was in direct violation of Texas Deceptive Trade PracticesConsumer Protection Act, Texas Business and Commerce Code §§ 17.41, et seq.

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