Google Settles Privacy Case for $7M

The Internet giant settles after being sued for harvesting private data via its Street View vehicles.

Google will pay $7 million to settle a Street View privacy case brought against it by 37 states and the District of Columbia.

The company was accused of collecting private Wi-Fi payload data when its Street View cars were on the road mapping the U.S. and Europe. The company admitted it had made "a mistake" when one of its engineers developed a code to collect this data for an experimental project, and this code accidentally also found its way into the Street View code, Tech Crunch reports.

“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,” said Connecticut’s Attorney General George Jepsen in a statement.

In addition to the $7 million, Google also has to destroy all the private data its Street View cars collected between 2008 and March 2010.

[Image courtesy of flickr user Adrian Salgado]

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