Google Street View Data Collection Prompts FCC Investigation

Company says private information acquired inadvertently, faces $50,000 fine for each violation if found guilty.

Google's Street View is cruising into controversy after earlier this year prompting the Federal Communications Commission to launch a probe into whether or not the online search engine breached federal privacy laws when collecting data for its map service, reports The Wall Street Journal. Google's explanation that the acquisition of consumers' personal information was obtained inadvertently has received critical backlash from politicians around the world.

Although the Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation into Google's Street View service last month, the FCC and several U.S. state attorneys general, as well as various regulators around the globe, including French and German authorities, continue to investigate claims that the company collected such data as email addresses, URLs and passwords from unprotected Wi-Fi networks around the world.

If Google is found to have committed intentional violations of the law, it could face fines of up to $50,000 for each offense.