France's data privacy regulator said has fined Google 100,000 euros for collecting private information while compiling its panoramic Street View service.
It is one of the steepest fines that the CNIL, the National Commission for Information Freedom, has fined since the watchdog obtained the power in 2004 to impose financial sanctions in 2004. While 100,000 euro might be huge for CNIL, we doubt it is much more than Google spends on rubber bands, but we guess its heart is in the right place.
Google launched its Street View service, which provides panoramic views of city streets, to a controversy over privacy. Things were made worse when Google admitted in 2010 that its specially equipped cars taking the photographs were also picking up Wi-Fi data and had inadvertently captured unencrypted private data including passwords and e-mails.
The regulator said this was "unfair collection" of information under French law and Google had received economic benefits from the data.