The Dutch data protection regulator CBP said on Tuesday it will fine Google up to €1m if it does not destroy private information gleaned from wireless internet routers in the Netherlands which it collected between 2008 and 2010.
In addition, the CBP has ordered Google to tell the owners of the 3.6 million routers which it identified that they have been included in a data base and allow them to opt out.
The location of the routers was gleaned while the internet company was photographing Dutch streets for its Street View project. As well as the location of the routers, the special vehicles also collected private information including email addresses, complete emails and financial transactions from unsecured networks.
Google said in May 2010 it had mistakenly collected information about wifi routers and internet traffic.
In a statement, Google Nederlands said it would study the CBP’s decision, and repeated the company’s regret that non-secured communications had been collected. Google said it had stopped using the special Street View cars, told the Dutch authorities and cooperated with the investigation.
‘We have never looked at this information or used it for Google products and services. We have destroyed this information now the investigation has been concluded,’ Google Nederland’s Mark Jansen said.
France last month found Google guilty of significant privacy violations through its wi-fi spying and fined the company €100,000 for its actions.
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