Korea fines Google $196,000 for collecting unauthorized data via its Street View program

Korea fines Google $196,000 for collecting unauthorized data via its Street View program

Korea’s communication regulator has fined Google 210 million won (approximately $196,000) for collecting personal data as part of its Street View initiative in the country, the Korea Herald reports.

The issue dates back to Google’s Street View snooping saga from nearly four years ago. Back in 2010, Google admitted that its Street View teams had collected “fragments of payload data” — i.e. information from unsecured WiFi networks — while driving around the world taking photos for Google Street View.

The unauthorized collection went on undetected for three years, and included the capturing of data in a number of cities in Korea between 2009 and 2010. In addition to handing out a fine, the Korean regulator has ordered Google to delete the data in question, and keep a note of its progress doing so on its website.

Google provided the following statement to us in response to the fine:

We work hard to get privacy right at Google. As we have said before, we are sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks. Since we announced our mistake in 2010, we have worked closely with the Korean Communications Commission and tightened up our systems to address the issue. The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn’t use it or even look at it.

Korea’s action comes far later than most other authorities across the world. Google has copped fines in Germany ($189,000), Belgium ($205,000) and France ($136,000). The issue cost it $7 million in the US, but it escaped with a warning from UK regulators.

Related: Japan is by far the most popular Asian country on Street View, according to Google

Image via PEDRO LADEIRA/AFP/Getty Images

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