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Street View spies a €2.4m fine

Spanish Data Protection Agency thinks Google would look nice in a lawsuit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Spanish Agencia de Protección de Datos (Data Protection Agency) is demanding Street View be brought to book over its clandestine Wi-Fi slurping activities.

The agency has requested a Madrid judge consider whether Google is guilty of two counts of "collecting and storing data without the owner's consent", and two counts of "recording protected data without legal permission and without the owner's agreement".

The agency said that it believes data on the location of Wi-Fi networks, along with the identification of their owners, and personal data including names and surnames, users names and or passwords was captured by Google. Read more here.

The offences each carry a maximum fine of €300,506 and €601,012 respectively. Google also stands accused of illegally transferring the data to the United States, and could be looking at a total hit of €2,404,048 - if the court decides to impose the maximum sanction.

Google handed over the offending data to the authorities back in July, El País notes. The Data Protection Agency's director, Artemi Rallo, quantified it as 13 gigabytes, equivalent to "6,590 copies of Don Quixote".*

In August, Spain's snappily-titled Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio de Delitos, Abusos y Negligencias en Informática y Comunicaciones Avanzadas (Association for the Prevention and Investigation of Crime, Abuse and Malpractice in Information Technology and Advanced Communications), hit Google with a similar legal action.

The case is still pending, with Google's legal representative in Spain expected in court to answer the charges.

A Google spokesman said back in August: "We're working in every country with the authorities and legal bodies to answer any questions they may have. Our final aim is to delete the data according to our legal obligations and in consultation with the relevant authorities." ®

Bootnote

*An agreeable new data standard, we're sure you'll agree.

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