(Image source: ZDNet)

BY EVAN THOMAS

ANCHOR JIM FLINK

Google’s off the hook. The FCC can’t fine Google for pulling usernames, passwords and even web traffic from unsecured wireless networks as its Street View cars rolled by.

Long story short, Digital Trends explains — it’s not Google’s fault.

“Because owners of unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspots failed to simply implement a password, the FCC decided that Google could not be found at fault for collecting unencrypted data. Unencrypted data could have been collected by just about anyone.”


But Google still has to pay up — for dragging its feet with the FCC.

In the official document, the FCC says Google “deliberately impeded and delayed the Bureau’s investigation” by not responding to inquiries from the commission, and by failing to provide requested information and documents.


Now the FCC has dinged Google with a $25,000 fine. An FCC spokeswoman tells Bloomberg that’s the maximum possible fee for impeding a commission investigation.


But for a company with a market value north of $200 billion, 25 grand is less than pocket change.

It comes out to about eight ten-thousandths of one percent of Google’s earnings from last quarter. And Gizmodo says that sets a bad precedent.

“Companies will get away with whatever they can afford to, and with the FCC either unable or unwilling to slap a giant like Google any harder than a pathetic 25 grand's worth, companies will get away with a lot.”

Google, for its part, says it cooperated. SlashGear got the official statement.

“We worked in good faith to answer the FCC’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we are pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law.”

It’s not the end of Google’s street view troubles, though. Last year Google paid fines in France for privacy violations, and voluntarily stopped operations in Germany in the face of privacy objections.
 

Google Fined for Impeding 'Street View' Investigation

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Apr 16, 2012

Google Fined for Impeding 'Street View' Investigation

(Image source: ZDNet)

BY EVAN THOMAS

ANCHOR JIM FLINK

Google’s off the hook. The FCC can’t fine Google for pulling usernames, passwords and even web traffic from unsecured wireless networks as its Street View cars rolled by.

Long story short, Digital Trends explains — it’s not Google’s fault.

“Because owners of unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspots failed to simply implement a password, the FCC decided that Google could not be found at fault for collecting unencrypted data. Unencrypted data could have been collected by just about anyone.”


But Google still has to pay up — for dragging its feet with the FCC.

In the official document, the FCC says Google “deliberately impeded and delayed the Bureau’s investigation” by not responding to inquiries from the commission, and by failing to provide requested information and documents.


Now the FCC has dinged Google with a $25,000 fine. An FCC spokeswoman tells Bloomberg that’s the maximum possible fee for impeding a commission investigation.


But for a company with a market value north of $200 billion, 25 grand is less than pocket change.

It comes out to about eight ten-thousandths of one percent of Google’s earnings from last quarter. And Gizmodo says that sets a bad precedent.

“Companies will get away with whatever they can afford to, and with the FCC either unable or unwilling to slap a giant like Google any harder than a pathetic 25 grand's worth, companies will get away with a lot.”

Google, for its part, says it cooperated. SlashGear got the official statement.

“We worked in good faith to answer the FCC’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we are pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law.”

It’s not the end of Google’s street view troubles, though. Last year Google paid fines in France for privacy violations, and voluntarily stopped operations in Germany in the face of privacy objections.
 

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