AFP is reporting that France’s data privacy regulator has imposed a record fine of 100,000 euros ($142,000) on Google for having collected private information while compiling its panoramic Street View service.
Google quickly acknowledged the data collection but said it was unintentional and pledged to destroy all private information collected. According to the article:
CNIL, the National Commission for Information Freedom, said Google had pledged to erase all the private data, but that it had found “that Google has not refrained from using the data identifying Wi-Fi access points of individuals without their knowledge.”
In addition to concerns about the photos taken, Google admitted in 2010 that its specially equipped cars taking the photographs were also picking up Wi-Fi data and had inadvertently captured unencrypted private data including passwords and e-mails.
The regulator said it decided to impose the fine as this constituted “unfair collection” of information under French law and it had received economic benefits from the data.