Google to settle Wi-Fi case for $7m in US

Google expected to settle Wi-Fi sniffing case in US, but UK investigation continues

Nicole Kobie
11 Mar 2013

Google is set to settle its Wi-Fi sniffing case in the US for $7m - but the UK's own investigation rumbles on.

The as yet unconfirmed settlement was revealed by Wall Street Journal blog [a href="" title="All Things Digital" target="_blank"]

All Things Digital[/a], which said the money would be divided between 30 states. The report said the final settlement would be officially announced later this week.

In 2010, Google admitted it had collected snippets of personal data while sniffing for Wi-Fi connections to help improve its mapping services.

In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office found Google had breached the data protection act, but didn't fine the firm, instead requiring it to submit to privacy audits and delete any of the collected data it still held.

In June of last year, the US FTC released its own findings, which the ICO looked into - discovering Google was still holding a small amount of Wi-Fi data. The ICO said it would investigate, but has yet to release any findings, eight months later. An ICO spokesman said the investigation was still ongoing.

Google has already been fined $25,000 by the US FCC and €100,000 by the French data watchdog.

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