By Heini Järvinen

Google has paid a 1 million euro fine imposed by Garante Privacy, the Italian data protection authority.

The case dates back to 2010 when, Google’s Street View cars drove across the country without being labeled clearly enough to be perfectly recognisable, and thus violating the privacy of citizens being photographed without their knowledge. The data protection authority has also reported to Italy’s judicial authorities that Google has collected data from unrestricted wireless connections to gather people’s personal communications.

Google claims to have complied with everything the regulator required of them at the time. They have taken further steps to make the mapping service cars more easily identifiable and to inform people that the cars plan to pass through their neighborhood.

The EU is seeking to empower national agencies to impose fines of up to 5 percent of yearly global sales for privacy violations, as current penalties can be seen more symbolic than punitive for global companies such as Google.

Google pays $1.4 million fine in Italy over StreetView concerns (03.04.2014)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/us-italy-google-privacy-idUSBREA3226A20140403

Google Pays Penalty for Street View Cars Roaming Italy (04.04.2014)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-04/google-pays-penalty-for-street-view-cars-roaming-italy.html

Google pays a fine of 1 million euro fine for the StreetView service (03.04.2014, only in Italian)
http://www.garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/3033237

Google pays for StreetView (03.04.2014)
http://punto-informatico.it/4023659/PI/News/google-pay-street-view.aspx (in Italian)