Google is fined for impeding an investigation by the United States Communications Commission
Internet giant Google was fined $25,000 for its attempt to impede a major investigation by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which sought to identify the motives behind the data that Google collected from the FCC in its Street View program. However, Google was cleared of misusing any potentially sensitive data during the program and may also request an appeal against the fine. The investigation took place for around 18 months and failed to find any sufficient evidence that Google had breached data laws.
Street View – a controversial project
Google’s Street View has given people the opportunity to witness millions of streets across the world, right from the comfort of their own computer. However, Street View has been met with some criticism from certain countries. For example, Germany only recently allowed the company to publish its Street View project of major German cities because the government there had concerns over privacy issues.
Meanwhile, authorities in France have also voiced their concerns over the data, finding that personal email data and private information could be matched through the information that was available from street addresses and linking them to personal data like UK divorce lawyers documents. In Canada, officials found that login details and medical records could also be found from the data, according to the report conducted by the FCC.
Despite widespread opposition from across the globe, Google continues to defend itself
Google continues to defend the project, staying that Street View does not violate data laws because it does not collect encrypted data from any WiFi connections. Street View has not only revolutionised the way people find streets, destinations and attractions for practical purposes, it has also allowed people to see views of the world that they would otherwise never have access to through conventional methods (photos, books, films etc.).
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