The French data privacy regulator, CNIL, handed down a record fine this morning to Google related to the images collected by their Street View technology. Interestingly, the 100,000 euro fine isn’t based on the collection of images, which Google does a fairly good job of scrubbing (blurring license plates, people’s faces, and the like). Rather, the fine is due to the inadvertent collection of data from WiFi networks to which Google’s roaming Street View vehicles connected.
While Google’s Street View cars were driving down picturesque streets through France and other European countries, they apparently used unencrypted WiFi networks to communicate location information to Google Latitude. Where Google erred was in the collection of payload data from the open WiFi networks, including email addresses, Continue reading