Google agrees to pay $13 million in Street View privacy case
Google has agreed to pay a $13 million settlement that could resolve a class-action lawsuit over the company’s collection of people’s private information through its Street View project.
The agreement, if approved by a judge, would resolve a 2010 suit over the Street View program’s privacy violations, ending nearly a decade of legal challenges related to the issue. Many expected the case to cost Google billions of dollars because plaintiffs alleged the data collection broke federal wiretapping laws -— but the agreement doesn’t include financial relief for class members.
Street View is a feature that lets users interact with panoramic images of locations around the world that launched in 2007. The legal action began when several people whose data was collected sued Google after it admitted the cars photographing neighborhoods for Street View had also gathered emails, passwords and other private information from wifi networks in more than 30 countries.
The company initially called the data collection “a mistake.” However, investigators found Google engineers built software and embedded it into Street View vehicles to intentionally intercept the data from 2007 to 2010, according to court documents.