France's National Commission for Information Freedom (CNIL) has nailed Google with a 100,000 ($142,000) fine for gathering private data from unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Early last year, the search giant revealed that its Street View cars accessed unpassworded wireless networks and "inadvertently" collected data, including emails and passwords according to an initial French investigation.
Google has reportedly received the largest fine served by CNIL since it gained the power to issue financial penalties 2004, according to regulator Yann Padova. That said, 100,000 pales in comparison to the billion dollar fines incurred by Intel and Microsoft in Europe. In addition to the cash punishment, CNIL has asked Google to erase all the private data, which the company is pleased to do.
"Deleting the data has always been our priority, and we're happy the CNIL has given permission for us to do so," said Google's privacy lawyer. "As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks." This news comes as the Berlin State Supreme Court court approves of Google Street View in a landmark decision.