Google nears $7-million settlement with states over Street View

A Google Street View car drives through Vilnius, Lithuania, in June.
(Petras Malukas / AFP / Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is close to reaching a $7-million settlement with 30-plus states to settle allegations that its Street View mapping service improperly collected passwords and other sensitive personal data from home wireless networks, a person familiar with the matter said.

The final details were being worked out Friday. An announcement is expected next week from the states led by the Connecticut attorney general’s office.

The settlement is to be split among the states.

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The states began the investigation in 2010 after the Internet giant revealed that its fleet of Street View cars had inadvertently collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks in more than 30 countries. Google was fined $25,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for impeding its investigation, but the agency said it was not clear that Google had violated federal wiretap laws.

Susan Kinsman, spokeswoman for the Connecticut attorney general, said: “Our only comment is that Connecticut is investigating Google Street View and that investigation is active and ongoing.”


Google declined to comment on the settlement.

In a statement, Google said: “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.”


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