Google ordered to hand over Street View data or face massive daily fines

Google in hot water again over Street View data collecting.

The camera array atop Google Street View cars become familiar around the world a few years ago.

Following a complaint from the Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights, a judge has ordered Google to hand over private data collected through its Street View program or face fines of $50,000 USD a day, that could rise to a maximum of $500,000 daily.

The complaint follows investigations into the leaking of government communications in which the Brazilian government blames the NSA for.

Google is no stranger to government retaliation of its data collecting practises. In April, Germany fined Google €145,000 ($189,230) for admitting that in 2010 Street View cars collected emails, passwords and more data from open WiFi sources in a number of European countries, including Germany, a relatively small amount compared to what Brazil has demanded. 

Google has continually denied that it is working with the NSA, or hands data to them without a court order. Google told the court the debate on data collection took place in several countries "ages ago" and as far as they're concerned, the case was now closed.

The court responded by pointing out that Edward Snowden had leaked documents which showed that Google's fiber optic cable had been allegedly hacked by the NSA. 

Even if Brazil is late to the party, one would think that's no excuse for companies not to settle their alleged wrongdoings.

Source: Tech EyeImage via Freefotouk

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11 Comments

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I fail to see anything illegal Google has done. It is perfectly legal for any citizen to drive down a road with cameras rolling and monitor open wifi connections.

Yet, because a single company has done this and the information could be used by the NSA, google is sued. What's to stop the NSA from deploying hundreds of cars to gather the same info? It's perfectly legal to do so.

I think the NSA has really done goofed here. With company's not being allowed to disclose what kind of data they have been forced to hand over, the reputation of American company's has plummeted in terms of trust. (Not that Google didn't do its self any favors to begin with.)


It really depends on the access points and the data they were able to collect, in some cases I guess passwords were able to be collected as well (even if hashed/encrypted).

They are in their right to relatiate Google over that data collecting, but I don't see how handing over said data would solve anything, in particular regarding the bit about the NSA.

Considering they were collecting data from open WiFi hotspot one would think all they got is personal stuff and not sensitive government info (why would you have sensitive data available over an open WiFi). The Gov will just get a bunch of data from random individuals which will only serve to confirm that Google was indeed collecting the data (which they already know).

I mean, if what Google did was illegal then just go and fine them.

Steven P. said,
They want to know if any data was collected from government connected buildings.

Well, if they have open WiFi hotspots in their Government buildings then the answer is most likely yes: Google has (some) data, and so probably do some passing by Brasilians.