Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) admitted that as it collected data for its street mapping initiative, it collected private data from unprotected Wi-Fi systems as well. The penalty for the action was so small that it was meaningless. According to The New York Times:
In agreeing to settle a case brought by 38 states involving the project, the search company for the first time is required to aggressively police its own employees on privacy issues and to explicitly tell the public how to fend off privacy violations like this one.
While the settlement also included a tiny - for Google - fine of $7 million, privacy advocates and Google critics characterized the overall agreement as a breakthrough for a company they say has become a serial violator of privacy.
Complaints have led to multiple enforcement actions in recent years and a spate of worldwide investigations into the way the mapping project also collected the personal data of private computer users.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Internet, Law Tagged: GOOG