Google will institute enhanced employee privacy training and create a public campaign about the importance of securing wireless networks as part of a $7 million settlement with state officials who were investigating the company’s controversial Street View program, the officials announced Tuesday.
The settlement, elements of which were reported last week, closes the last of several U.S. investigations into allegations that Street View acted illegally by intercepting data transmitted over WiFi signals, collecting personally identifiable information such as e-mails and Web site visitations along the way.
“While the $7 million is significant, the importance of this agreement goes beyond financial terms,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement. “Consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This agreement recognizes those rights and ensures that Google will not use similar tactics in the future to collect personal information without permission from unsuspecting consumers.”
Google has long said that Street View’s collection of personal information was inadvertent and has apologized.