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Google To Pay $7 Million Street View Fine

Google agreed to pay a $7 million fine for unlawful collection of data and train its employees on privacy issues.

Internet search engine Google GOOG -0.86% will fork over $7 million for collecting personal data without authorization via its Street View service.

The company settled with attorney generals in 38 states, and also pledged to train its employees over data privacy and launch a nationwide campaign to teach people about securing Wi-Fi hotspots. (Watch the BBC’s interview with Street View creator Luc Vincent)

As part of the settlement, Google will have to destroy data it collected from unsecured wireless networks across the U.S. between 2008 and 2010 as part of Street View. It then also improperly stored the information that came in the form of email and text messages, passwords and web histories.

“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,” Google reportedly said in a statement.

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