By The Associated Press
Feb. 28: France’s regulator says a preliminary analysis finds that Google’s new policy appears to violate European data-protection rules. The regulatory agency CNIL says Google’s explanation of how it will use the data is too vague and difficult to understand “even for trained privacy professionals.”
April 13: The Federal Communications Commission fines Google $25,000, saying the online search leader “deliberately impeded and delayed” an investigation into how it collected data while taking photos for its Street View mapping feature. Cars that had been taking street-level photos for Google’s online mapping service also had been grabbing information transmitted over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Despite the fine, the FCC says it will not take action against Google over its data collection. Part of the reason for that is that the FCC says it still has “significant factual questions” about the Street View project that haven’t been answered.
April 26: Google disputes the FCC’s characterization of that probe and says the FCC was the party that took its time. Google argues that the 17-month inquiry would have gone much more quickly if the FCC hadn’t dawdled so much. Google says it accepted the fine to close the case.
Aug. 9: The FTC announces that Google has agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking the online activities of millions of people who use Apple’s Safari web browser. It’s the largest penalty ever imposed by the FTC. Google isn’t admitting any wrongdoing. The fine isn’t over Google’s data collection, but for misrepresenting what was happening, in violation of last year’s agreement to settle the Buzz case. A federal judge approves the fine on Nov. 16.
March 12, 2013: Google says it has agreed to a $7 million fine to settle a probe over Wi-Fi data collection connected to its canvassing for street-level photo. The settlement covers 38 states and the District of Columbia.