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.
- Google Stops WiFi Collecting Street View Cars After Privacy Concerns
- Google Street View Collected Emails, Passwords (Social Security Numbers, Your Dog’s Name….)
- Report: Google Street View Collected Device Locations, Not Just WiFi Access Points
- Google Maps Privacy: The Street View & Wifi Scorecard
- FCC Clears Google Over Wifi Eavesdropping But Fines It $25,000 For “Noncompliance” With Requests