Google Street View “Wi-Spy” Investigation Closed With $25,000 Penalty

Bloomberg reports that the Street View WiFi eavesdropping investigation by the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) against Google has now been officially closed after Google agreed to pay $25,000.

On April 13, the FCC proposed a $25,000 fine against Google for “willfully and repeatedly” not cooperating with its investigation. There was no finding of legal liability against Google however. The $25,000 fine was more an expression of frustration and displeasure by the FCC.

Google rebuked the FCC in a filing yesterday that argued it had responded appropriately and in good faith to the agency’s requests for information. According to Politico, Google’s filing asserts that the FCC was itself non-responsive and at least equally responsible for any problems the agency faced in getting desired information from Mountain View:

“Over the course of the 17 months it took the FCC to officially conclude its investigation, the commission did not contact Google for weeks and months at a time,” Google wrote in the reply. It described two periods of silence — one gap of 83 days and another gap of 52 days — in which Google never heard from the agency.

“It is difficult to reconcile those lengthy delays with the FCC’s criticism of Google’s responses as ‘untimely,’” Google argued. The company noted the commission ran against its deadline and received Google’s approval to extend the review period by seven months.

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Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Privacy | Google: Street View


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • iboats Boating

    $25,000 fine to Google, is like seeing a penny on the sidewalk and stepping over it.

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