Google to pay $7m to 30 US states over Street View 'personal data collection' issue
London: Google is set to pay a settlement of about seven million dollars to 30 US states, which had accused the search giant of using its Street View technology to collect personal information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
The agreement between Google and the aggrieved states is reportedly close to being finalised and may be announced early next week, and is a drop in the ocean for Google, which had 50 billion dollars in revenue last year, the Guardian reports.
This came when Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal started a multi-state investigation into Google's Wi-Fi data-gathering in 2010, after it was revealed that Street View cars had been collecting personal information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Although initially Google denied the charges, in 2012, the company however admitted that it had found that user data like banking, medical records and passwords from around the world had been captured by its Street View cars, and blamed a rogue engineer for the privacy breach, the report added.
According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Wi-Fi collection has sparked investigations around the world with at least 12 countries looking into the Street View issue.