MADRID – Spain’s Data Protection Agency announced Monday the opening of a case to sanction Google for hacking personal data from Wi-fi networks for the search engine giant’s Street View mapping initiative.
Indications of two serious infractions and two very serious infractions under Spanish law have been found, such as capturing and storing personal data without consent, the agency said.
Also verified, it said, was the capturing of address data from Wi-fi networks along with the owners’ names and personal information of different kinds such as e-mail addresses (with first and last names), the content of e-mails and text messages associated with these accounts including user names and passwords.
After opening the sanctioning procedure against Google, the Data Protection Agency presented the court with its final report on the inspection.
Of the five infractions found, two of them are attributable to Google Inc. as responsible for the design and application of Street View’s data collection software, and three to Google Spain as responsible for the capturing and storing of data in the Iberian nation and transferring it to the United States.
The sanctioning procedure blames Google Spain and Google Inc. of separate infractions of Spanish law, each punishable with fines ranging from 60,101 to 300,506 euros ($83,927-$491,639) for gathering and storing personal data without consent of the targeted individuals.
At the same time, another two very serious infractions were pinpointed, each punishable with fines from 300,506 to 601,012 euros ($491,639-$839,068), for extracting information that would allow access to specifically protected data without the express consent of the owners, nor legal authorization to do so.
Google Spain is also charged with another very serious infraction for the international transfer of data to the United States without the guarantees required by Spain’s Information Protection Law.
The processing of administrative sanctions will be suspended until the case against Google is tried in a Madrid court. EFE