Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has reached a settlement that could see the company pay around 13 million to settle a class-action suit brought against the company regarding its collection of personal data through the Street View project.
Google settles suit for violation of wiretapping laws
If the settlement gets a judge’s approval it could resolve the class action suit regarding the Street View program over violations of the US wiretapping law. This will thus bring to an end the legal challenges associated with the issue that have run for almost a decade. It was expected that the suit will cost the company billions because it violated wiretapping regulations but it seems that is not the case as the settlement doesn’t factor financial relief for the plaintiffs.
Besides the monetary settlement the agreement that was filed in a san Francisco court on Friday requires Google to destroy all information that it collect and also enlighten people on ways of setting up encrypted Wi-Fi. The company has also agreed that it will not use data collected through the program without consent and will educate people how to secure their networks through videos and webpages.
The Street View program was launched in 2007 and it is a feature that enhances interaction of users with panoramic images of various locations across the globe. Legal issues arose after various consumer privacy groups whose personal information including emails and passwords were collected sued the company after its admission to having collected the information.
The $7 million settlement in 2013
Although Google initially claimed that the information was collected by mistake it was revealed that developers of the program developed software implanted into the vehicles meant to intercept data. Back in 2013 the company had a $7 million settlement with 38 States that had brought a case against the company regarding the same issue. Previously the company had indicated that it would stop collection of data through the Street View vehicles.
The settlement includes relief for 22 original class members and not additional members while the rest will be given to consumer protection and data privacy organizations.