Going by an April 13-dated filing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a $25,000 fine is being sought from Internet search giant Google for the company’s non-cooperation with an investigation into its collection of personal information over wireless networks.
As per the FCC filing, Google hindered the proceedings by causing delays for months in the completion of the investigation which chiefly pertained to e-mail, text messages, and other personal data that was collected by the company in connection with its Street View location service.
While Google has been facing increased scrutiny from regulators over the manner in which it handles users’ data, the FCC filing said that the penalty it was seeking from Google was not for the violation of laws against unauthorized interception of communications.
With Google’s last year consent to 20 years of independent privacy audits for settling claims with the Federal Trade Commission that it had hoodwinked users and breached its own privacy policies with the Buzz social network, Opus Research analyst Greg Sterling is of the opinion that the FCC fine will deliver a blow to the bigwig Internet search company in the court of public opinion.
Meanwhile, in its defense, Google said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday that it was not “found to have violated any laws” in an FCC probe, and added: “We disagree with the FCC’s characterization of our cooperation in their investigation and will be filing a response.”