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Street View Wi-Fi wrongdoing earns Google record fine from France

Zut alors, and all that -- France has slapped Google with a hefty fine over its Street View Wi-Fi mishap.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Zut alors, sacre bleu and, indeed, bonnet de douche -- France has slapped Google with a hefty fine over Street View. The fine, worth a record £86,800, was levied for capturing people's Wi-Fi details as part of the search behemoth's 3D mapping project.

The country's National Commission for Information Freedom (CNIL) has doled out the fine because Google still hasn't erased all the data it collected from users. Street View vehicles pootle round capturing pictures of most of Europe and the US, but until last year Street View cars were recording Wi-Fi data at the same time.

Street View launched in 2007, and was found to be recording Wi-Fi details by accident. Google has two months to appeal, but let's face it, it's a fair cop. The incident earned little more than a slap on the wrist from UK privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner, despite collecting more than 600GB of passwords, emails and log-in information.

Although 30 countries have complained to Google, France is the first to fine the big G. Has France has over-reacted, or is it right to make a stand against Google's transgression? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.