Google Street Car Fined $189K in Germany
Posted: April 24, 2013 by Maja Johnson
What seemed to be one of the largest penalties in Germany was only a "slap on the wrist" for Google as it was fined to pay 145,000 Euro (or approximately $189,000) for breaking the privacy regulations in Germany during the period from 2008 to 2010.
According to the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom Information, penalties in Germany for privacy violations represent a mere dime compared to the earnings these multinational companies have in a year. Therefore the Commissioner suggested that Germany raises its penalty fees accordingly so that such violations do not occur again.
Namely, from the period of 2008 until 2010, Google with its Google Street View vehicles accessed unsecured Wi-Fi networks and collected personal data like e-mails, passwords, photos, etc. Google deleted the data and did not use any of it, stating that it was unaware of the violation in the first place. Since no one actually believes Google's statement, Germany's Commissioner still believed it necessary to punish the Internet giant.
The fine of 145,000 Euro was nothing compared to the profit Google recorded for the last quarter, which was estimated to be worth $3.90 billion.
"You win some, you lose some"! Google may have avoided high penalties in Europe, but in the US, things are not looking so bright for the company. Even though it managed to avoid a fine that would have cost tens of millions of dollars in regards to antitrust accusations made by the US Federal Trade Commission, it still paid $22.5 million in a settlement with Apple for collecting data from Apple's Safari.