South Korea Fine Google after Illegal Data Gathering

South Korean regulators have fined Google for illegally gathering personal data whilst taking pictures for its Street View service in 2009 and 2010.

The Korean Communications Commission (KCC) held a meeting a decided to impose a fine of 210million won ($196.000). The KCC have also ordered Google to delete all data that was collected illegally and to keep everyone notified of progress through their website.

According to the KCC, the data that was illegally collected consisted of internet IDs, passwords, network addresses, text messages, and credit card numbers.

Google has already admitted that they obtained the personal data from home wireless networks when the Street View car drove past but claimed that they were merely trying to ascertain the location of Wi-Fi networks to build up a list of assisted location services for mobile users.

The KCC are keen to send out a message that anyone who is caught collecting data unlawfully in South Korea will be punished how they deem appropriate.

Lee Kyung-jae who is the chairman of the KCC stated, “The latest penalty is the first of its kind imposed on a global company that violated the private information protection laws. The commission will punish those who collect information of the Korean public without exception.”

South Korea isn’t the first nation to impose a fine on Google after they have gathered data illegally whilst taking pictures for its Street View service.

Previous cases against Google include the German privacy regulator imposing a €145,000 ($189,000) fine and the French data protection authority enforcing a €100,000 ($142,000) fine for the same reasons. Google was also fined $7 million by the U.S. authorities in March 2013.

In today’s world, it is now vital that all networks and computers are kept as secure as possible by ensuring everything has the latest security program updates applied and is protected by a strong password.

The ease that Google accumulated all this personal data should be of a huge concern especially as cyber hackers and cyber thieves are continuously developing more sophisticated methods of attacks.

It is also vital that a robust backup solution is utilised to ensure that data can be recovered if it is deleted or modified.

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