FCC fines Google $25,000

April 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 15 (UPI) -- The Federal Communications Commission ordered Google to pay $25,000 for deliberately impeding an investigation into the company's collection of payload data.

The Federal Trade Commission accepted Google's explanation that it didn't realize it collected and stored personal data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks in 2010, but the FCC on Friday said the company obstructed its investigation, The New York Times reported Saturday. The investigation revealed Google collected the information while scanning streets for its Street View project.

The FCC said a Google engineer who developed the Street View Code invoked his Fifth Amendment right and declined to provide testimony, The Wall Street Journal reported. Additionally, Google refused to provide employees' e-mails to the commission.

"Although a world leader in digital search capability, Google took the position that searching its employees' e-mail 'would be a time-consuming and burdensome task,' " the FCC report said.

"It's an appropriate fine based on evidence that the investigation was deliberately impeded and our precedent," Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau told the Times.

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