Financial News

  • 6 April 2014, 19:12

Google Fined 825k Over Street View Cars

Google has paid a ?1m (825,000) fine over the use of its Street View camera cars in Italy.

The Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) hit the California-based company with the penalty after complaints were made about its vehicles.

The fine relates back to Google's activities on Italian streets in 2010.

The regulator said: "Cars belonging to the giant of Mountain View roamed Italy's streets without being entirely recognisable as such.

"Therefore not allowing the people present in those places to decide whether to be photographed or not."

The fine does not relate to a separate probe into it allegedly capturing communications data during the mapping process.

A Google spokesperson told Sky News: "The fine from the DPA relates to an old case that dates back to 2010.

"We complied with everything the DPA required of us at the time."

The internet behemoth has faced numerous privacy complaints in the United States and Europe over Street View.

In 2009, residents of the Buckinghamshire village of Broughton surrounded a Google car to prevent it taking photos of their houses without implicit permission.

The following year, Google admitted collecting personal wi-fi data as Street View cars roamed roads.

Germany authorities fined it ?145,000 (120,000) for inadvertently intercepting emails, passwords and user names on open networks.

In 2013, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) told the company it faced prosecution unless it deleted similar payload data gathered in the UK.

Google is appealing a French DPA judgement made last year, while the ICO is still investigating the company over the merging of privacy policies for a variety of its services.

A US federal appeals court rejected Google's bid last September to dismiss legal action accusing it of violating federal wiretap law when it accidentally collected personal data gathered from Street View.

The Italian fine was calculated on the company's revenue and also that it had promptly adopted the measures it requested.

These included clearly marking the camera cars, along with public information about areas it would be mapping.