Google fined for impeding data collection inquiry

U.S. federal regulators on Saturday charged that Google has “deliberately impeded and delayed” an investigation into its collection of data from wireless home networks and fined the online giant US$25,000, The New York Times reported.

In 2010 Google admitted that its famous cars used to map streets were also collecting private information people send over unencrypted wireless networks. At the time, Google said the data collection was inadvertent, and due to a programming error,   according to The New York Times blogs.
The Federal Communications Commission seems to be losing its patience, sending out a report on the matter written in an “exasperated tone,” The Times noted. This is in contrast to the Federal Trade Commission‘s report two years ago. In that investigation, the FTC accepted Google’s explanation that it was “mortified by what happened” and made a promise to impose internal controls.
The FCC, despite its irritation with Google, found that the search giant’s collection of data was legal, because that data was not encrypted.
A Google spokeswoman responded to the investigation on Saturday that “we worked in good faith to answer the F.C.C.’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we’re pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law.”
This is Google’s second privacy issue in the past three months. Earlier this year, the company’s new privacy policy was heavily criticised, especially in the European Union The Washington Post and Guardian, among others, reported at the time. The new policy says that Google will place 60 of its Web services under a unified privacy policy that will allow the company to share data between any of those services.

Image: Google
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