"Cars belonging to the giant of Mountain View roamed Italy's streets
without being entirely recognizable as such, therefore not allowing
the people present in those places to decide whether to be
photographed or not," it said in a statement, referring to Google's
base at Mountain View in California.
Google has faced numerous privacy lawsuits in the United States and
Europe, relating to services including Street View, which gives a
panoramic perspective on streets around the world.
"The fine from the DPA relates to an old case that dates back to
2010. We complied with everything the (regulator) required of us at
the time," a Google spokeswoman said.
The fine announced on Thursday relates only to vehicles not being
labeled clearly enough. The watchdog has also reported to Italy's
judicial authorities that Google accidentally captured fragments of
electronic communications as part of its mapping research in the
Google did not respond to requests for comment.
In September 2013 a U.S. federal appeals court rejected Google's bid
to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of violating federal wiretap law
when its accidentally collected personal data while building Street
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Google was also fined 145,000 euros last year by a privacy regulator
in Germany for inadvertently intercepting emails, user names,
passwords and other data from Wi-Fi networks while taking
photographs for Street View and decided not to contest the fine.
Imposing its higher fine on Thursday, the Italian watchdog said it
took into account the search engine operator's "consolidated revenue
of over $50 billion".
It also said Google had promptly adopted the measures it requested,
including clearly marking the cars used to collect footage, and
broadcasting details of the areas the cars would visit on its own
website and in local media.
($1 = 0.7263 euros)
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Eric Walsh)
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