Colo. AG reaches settlement with Google over Street View
DENVER — Google has reached a settlement in the Street View privacy case, the Colorado attorney general announced Tuesday.
Google will pay a $7 million fine to 37 states and launch a nationwide consumer education campaign. The company also agreed to stop unauthorized data collection and train employees on privacy issues.
Colorado’s share of the settlement is approximately $125,000.
The settlement concerns the collection of data from unsecured wireless networks during 2008 and 2010 when Google was collecting images for its Street View service. Google improperly collected information including email, text messages, passwords and web histories.
“This is a fair resolution of the states’ complaints and recognizes the privacy rights of individuals whose information Google collected without their permission,” said Attorney General John Suthers in a statement. “Google is banned from unauthorized data collection, is required to train employees on privacy and to execute a national campaign that educates consumers on how to safeguard their online information.”
Google said the data was collected by a rogue engineer.
“We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn’t, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue,” Google said in a statement. “The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn’t use it or even look at it. We’re pleased to have worked with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and the other state attorneys general to reach this agreement.”
Additional states that participated in the settlement include: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.