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Friday, 04 April 2014 10:46

Google pays to make snooping fine go away in Italy

Written by Nick Farrell



Finances a few government bunga bunga parties

Search engine Google has paid a $1.4 million fine imposed by Italy's data protection watchdog over complaints that cars it used to record images on Italian streets in 2010 were not clearly recognizable.

"Cars belonging Google roamed Italy's streets without being entirely recognizable as such, therefore not allowing the people present in those places to decide whether to be photographed or not," it said in a statement, referring to Google's base at Mountain View in California.

Google has faced numerous privacy lawsuits in the United States and Europe, relating to services including Street View, which gives a panoramic perspective on streets around the world.

"The fine from the DPA relates to an old case that dates back to 2010. We complied with everything the regulator required of us at the time," a Google spokeswoman said.

The fine announced on Thursday relates only to vehicles not being labeled clearly enough. The watchdog has also reported to Italy's judicial authorities that Google accidentally captured fragments of electronic communications as part of its mapping research in the country.

Imposing its higher fine on Thursday, the Italian watchdog said it took into account the search engine operator's "consolidated revenue of over $50 billion". Knowing Italy, the money will be funding political bunga bunga parties for some time, unless it goes to Germany to pay off some of the money it owes for the bunga bunga parties held by previous governments. (I take it Silvio didn't invite you to the last one. Ed)

Nick Farrell

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