- Journal Archives
- Volume 17
- Volume 16
- Volume 15
- Volume 14
- Volume 13
- Volume 12
- Volume 11
- Volume 10
- Volume 9
- Volume 8
- Volume 7
- Volume 6
- Volume 5
- Volume 4
- Volume 3
- Volume 2
- Volume 1
Internet search giant Google has agreed to a settlement, including a $7 million payout, with a group of states in a case involving privacy complaints. The complaints stem from Google’s street view cars, which travel the roads taking 360-degree pictures as well as the location of wireless hotspots and cell phone towers. They apparently also picked up private data from unencrypted wireless networks as they traveled.
In May of 2010 Google admitted in a blog post that it had collected private data, including information like passwords and emails. There, Google stated that collecting the information was a mistake and that Google never wanted or used the information. “The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust — and we are acutely aware that we failed badly, here,” the blog post stated. “We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake.”
For the current settlement, in addition to the $7 million payment, Google is also required to delete the private information, institute an employee education program about privacy, and sponsor a national public service campaign focused on protecting private information. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen stated, “The importance of this agreement goes beyond financial terms. Consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
For some, though, the amount of the settlement was not enough. Steve Pociask, the president of the American Consumer Institute, said, “With revenue of $100 million a day, the fine is just a drop in the bucket and not enough to deter bad behavior.” “Consumers are growing tired of seeing Google apologize time and time again, pay a small fine and make vague promises in settlements with one agency or another, only later to engage in the same behavior.” It is perhaps worth noting that Google recently announced that its executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be receiving a bonus of $6 million for his performance last year.
In 2010 both the FTC and the FCC began investigating Google. However, neither investigation led to significant further action. The FCC ultimately found that Google did not violate the law, although they did levy a $25,000 fine on Google for obstructing the investigation. Google still faces private lawsuits related to the Street View data collection.
Do you think the settlement is reasonable? Do you think Google really collected the information by mistake?
Recent Blog Posts
- Cyber Security Bill Passes Senate in Landslide Vote
- Anonymous Declares Cyber War on ISIS
- Taming the Wild, Wild (Internet): Yik Yak posting leads law enforcement to arrest in University of Missouri campus threat incident
- Epigenetics – The Missing Causal Nexus – An Analogy through PTSD
- Digital Asset Forfeiture: Dispensation of Cryptocurrency in Appropriated in Connection with the Proseuction of Silk Road
- “A Rape on Campus” = $25 million Defamation Lawsuit for Rolling Stone
Tagsadvertising antitrust Apple books career celebrities contracts copyright copyright infringement courts creative content criminal law entertainment Facebook FCC film/television financial First Amendment games Google government intellectual property internet JETLaw journalism lawsuits legislation media medicine Monday Morning JETLawg music NFL patents privacy progress publicity rights radio social networking sports Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) technology telecommunications trademarks Twitter U.S. Constitution