Google fined by France over Street View data

Mistakenly gathering Wi-Fi data costs Google £87,000

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Google has been fined a whopping €100,000 (£87,000) in France for gathering personal data from open Wi-Fi networks, while taking pictures for Street View.

The penalty, handed out by French privacy watchdog CNIL, comes after Google admitted that it had scoped the information by accident while filming with its controversial Street View cameras.

Google has apologised for the mistake and says that it will delete the personal data in question.

Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer said: "As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted wi-fi networks."

More fines?

The fine represents the first penalty imposed on Google following a series of similar offenses around the world, including the UK, and could lead to more action being taken.

The online search giant claims that an engineering error led to data like passwords, log-in names and email messages being collected in 30 different countries during the Street View set-up operation.

It has since stopped collecting data from open Wi-Fi networks.