Google Fined $25K for Obstructing FCC’s Street View Investigation

Google Street View Cars Tricycle India

Google escaped penalties associated with the Federal Communications Commission’s electronic eavesdropping law in the agency’s investigation of private user data collection through Street View mapping. There simply isn’t a precedent for applying the law to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

However, the FCC did propose a $25,000 fine against Google. The search company “deliberately impeded and delayed” the investigation into the 2010 incident for several months, according to a Saturday FCC news release.

According to the FCC, Google was reluctant to cooperate with investigators. An engineer who developed the Street View code chose to use his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and refused to provide testimony.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a Google spokesperson said, “We worked in good faith to answer the FCC's questions throughout the inquiry, and we are pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law."

Google will have the opportunity to appeal the FCC’s fine.

About the author

A member of the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, Miranda has authored more than 60 e-books, 300 client projects, and thousands of articles and blog posts for clients ranging from SMBs to government agencies and Fortune 100 companies.

Miranda studied e-commerce at Athabasca University and specializes in marketing, business and educational material. She currently assists the Province of Ontario Ministries of Research & Innovation and Economic Development, Trade & Employment with their copywriting and SEO goals. She is one of a handful of Canadian consultants experienced with Ontario's new adult literacy curriculum framework and as such, is contracted by literacy agencies and publishing houses to develop new learning material.