While the FCC fined Google last month for its light treatment of privacy laws in the collection of data for its Street View product – a part of Google Maps that allows you to look at business (and subsequently people) from eye level instead of overhead.
Seemingly, the $25k fine Google received isn't enough to satisfy U.S. privacy watchdog EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) who assert:
Many countries around the world have found Google guilty of violating national privacy laws. Surprisingly, the FCC said that Google had not violated the federal wiretap act, even though a federal court recently held otherwise.
EPIC is concerned that the FCC aren't taking Google's mis-steps seriously enough. The $25,000 fine was in part due to Google's evasiveness in providing details surrounding the FCC case against them but also because it was recently uncovered that Street View vehicles were collecting WiFi data as well as photographs during their trips – which intitially prompted the investigation.
The whole thing is getting weird. Obviously Google is providing somewhat of a useful and excting service in Street View but if its own executives were shocked to learn what data was being recorded during routine data collection, what else don't they know?
Google is just such a huge company now, has it gotten too large to be managed with accountability? Or is this just a one-off?