Google Inc is close to an agreement to pay about US$7 million to settle allegations that the company improperly collected personal data for its Street View product, a person familiar with the matter said.
The company has reached an agreement in principle with more than 30 states, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
The resolution could be announced as early as next week, another person said.
During a three-year period starting in 2007, the company improperly gleaned “sensitive personal information,” including e-mail and text messages, passwords and Web-use history, from non-secured Wi-Fi networks,the Federal Communications Commission said last year.
Google, operator of the world’s largest search engine, has been grappling with scrutiny by government officials around the world over how it handles private information.
The US Federal Communications Commission fined Google US$25,000 last year for not cooperating with an investigation into the company’s collection of the data.
“We work hard to get privacy right at Google,” Nadja Blagojevic, a spokeswoman the Mountain View, California-based company, said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. “But in this case we didn’t, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue.”
Google said in May 2010 that it would stop using Wi-Fi information for Street View, which displays pictures of streets on Google Maps.
At the time, the company said that it had collected the information by mistake.
The settlement with states could also involve changes to the Street View feature or how the data is collected, or some combination of these.
Susan Kinsman, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut Attorney General, said the office’s investigation into the Google Street View matter is “active and ongoing.”
Connecticut led the multistate investigation, which started in 2010 under former attorney general Richard Blumenthal, into Google’s Street View data-collection practices.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended its investigation of Google’s collection of data over unsecured wireless networks in October 2010 after the company said it would improve privacy safeguards in the Street View mapping project.
In a separate matter, Google agreed in August last year to pay US$22.5 million, the largest ever fine levied by the FTC, for breaching Apple Inc’s Safari Internet browser in violation of a previous consent decree.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable