Brazil Asks Google Street View for Answers

Google allegedly gathering data illegally

News Outside Online

Google Street View car     Photo: Seabamirum/Flickr

Brazil is demanding answers over Google's reported data collection from its Street View vehicles, which have recently been mapping the World Cup country. Brazilian authorities will begin to fine Google anywhere between $45,000 and $450,000 a day if a reply is presented by the end of Saturday, reports BBC News.

The Street View vehicles are equipped with 360-degree cameras and antennas, which are used to create the 3-D renderings that compliment Google Maps. However, the vehicles seem to be gathering more than just pictures. U.S. and European courts have already fined Google for illegally gathering personal data through open Wi-Fi networks using Street View technology, according to BBC News. "The company collected the secret and personal data of Brazilians using open Wi-Fi networks as it has already done in almost 30 countries where there have been similar allegations,” said The Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights in a statement.

Google claims that all data collection equipment was removed from its vehicles in 2010 after other countries, including the U.S., filed complaints. Conversely, Google was forced to pay $195,000 in Germany for illegal data collection early this year, reports RT News. Google also paid $7 million in a US case, which found emails, passwords, and web histories had been stored in Street View vehicles between 2008 and 2010.

Nearly 3,000 cities and 40 countries can be viewed with Google Street View.

Comments