Google Fined for Illegally Collecting Personal Data

Korea's communications watchdog in Tuesday fined Google W212.3 million for illegally collecting personal data without people's consent (US$1=W1,080).

The Korea Communications Commission ordered Google to delete all data collected in this way and post the KCC's decision on its website.

From October 2009 to May 2010, Google Street View vehicles collected e-mail messages exchanged between the networks' users as well as their personal data in the process of shooting images of streets in major cities.

The vehicles carried devices capable of catching Wi-Fi signals to enhance the accuracy of the geographical information they collected and in the process they also caught uncoded personal information exchanged through Wi-Fi networks.

Prosecutors investigated Google in 2011 but some executives failed to respond to summonses. The investigation stopped in February 2012.

In 2011, Google was fined in 12 countries for illegally gathering personal data. The fine was 145,000 euros in Germany and 100,000 euros in France. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission fined the American tech giant $25,000 and said its refusal to submit data was an obstruction of investigation.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 29, 2014 12:38 KST