Internet giant Google has been fined for the systematic illegal collection of personal data by a German privacy regulator. Google has been fined €145,000 on April 22, 2013, for when the search engine was creating its Street View mapping service.
The German regulator also called for European lawmakers to significantly raise fines for violations of data protection law. According to Johannes Caspar, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg, the fine could be close to €150,000 or €195,000, which was the maximum one could legally impose. This fine is not enough to stop large companies from harvesting personal information.
The fine which was levied by Caspar, is the largest assessed ever by the European regulators in terms of privacy issues and amounts to roughly 0.002 percent of Google’s $10.7 billion in net profit last year. Caspar said, “As long as violations of data protection law are penalized with such insignificant sums, the ability of existing laws to protect personal privacy in the digital world, with its high potential for abuse, is barely possible”.
In the year 2010, Caspar’s agency became the first to uncover Google’s collection of data from routers capable of Wi-Fi in Germany. Google has run into people concerned with their privacy in the past as well.