NBC News reports that Google has agreed to pay 7 million as a fine in their “WiFi Spy” case. It is a settlement that is being paid to a coalition of state attorneys general over private data that was captured by Google contractors, while they were compiling photographs for their Street Map project.
Here is the story that should cause Google some sadness::
Apparently while sending workers throughout neighborhoods in the United States, personal data was obtained from unencrypted wireless networks that were in some of the homes. This data included passwords, email addresses, medical and financial records.
Although Google said that the privacy violations were unintentional, the Connecticut Attorney General voiced why he felt that Google should pay a fine, “Consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This agreement recognizes those rights and ensures that Google will not use similar tactics in the future to collect personal information without permission from unsuspecting consumers.”
This is one of the most significant fines related to Internet privacy but I’m not sure that it really impacts Google to make them change how they collect data in the future. I looked at their stock for the close of Wednesday’s market to find it trading at $827.61 a share. This story is also a reminder that searching on a WiFi connection not password protected can give rise to our personal information getting stolen.
For pic o’ day…