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Daily Dutch News in English

The Netherlands threatens Google with one million Euro fine

Google has captured and collected the addresses and locations of 3.6 million wireless routers in the Netherlands between 2008 and 2010, without the user’s knowledge.

The data from open wi-fi networks was gathered while Google Street View cars roamed the Netherlands from 2008 – 2010 taking photographs.

Information about the location of those wi-fi networks was intended to be used to improve the location finding ability of Street View and other Google services.

The Dutch Personal Data Protection Board finds that Google should inform the Wi-Fi routers users to give them the chance to oppose the processing of this data and to destroy the information. If Google does not, then the CBP imposes a fine of up to 1 million Euros, announced the College on Tuesday.

The addresses (MAC addresses) of routers and their locations have been collected without the knowledge of users. These addresses are combined with their location data, according to CBP, because they can provide information about the owner of the wifi router. Google gathered information from secured and unsecured routers.

In a statement, Google’s, wrote: “We are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted wi-fi networks.”

Google recently has been hit with a fine by France’s privacy watchdog CNIL over the personal data it mistakenly gathered when setting up Street View.