Korea’s communication regulator decided to fine Google Inc. Tuesday for collecting data of unspecified people by taking pictures for its Street View service.
Holding a meeting to discuss the alleged data collection by Google, the Korea Communications Commission decided to impose a fine of 210 million won ($196,000) on the Internet giant.
The commission has also ordered the California-based firm to delete all personal data it had gathered without consent, and to notify the progress on its Web-site.
Google has operated vehicles equipped with special cameras and computers in major metropolises in Korea including Seoul, Busan, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province between 2009 and 2010 for its Street View database.
The collected information include Internet IDs, passwords, residential registration numbers, and Media Access Control addresses, unique numbers assigned to network adaptors on computers, according to the KCC.
“The latest penalty is the first of its kind imposed on a global company that violated the private information protection laws,” said KCC chairman Lee Kyung-jae, adding “The commission will punish those who collect information of the Korean public without exception.”
The Google case involving its alleged collection of private information resurfaced this year in Korea after after the search company was fined in other markets for similar wrongdoings.
The company agreed in 37 U.S. states to voluntarily pay fines of $17 million last year. Germany and France fined Google with 45,000 euros ($196,000) and 150,000 euros, respectively.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)