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Google reportedly nears $7 million settlement with states over Street View privacy violations

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Google Street View car promo image
Google Street View car promo image

Google is reportedly preparing to pay out $7 million, split between 40 states, to settle an investigation into Street View privacy violations. The case alleges Street View cars collected personal data over Wi-Fi without people's knowledge or consent, and is reportedly the one that was launched in 2010 by Connecticut's attorney general, which another 40 states attorneys general later joined. For now, that investigation hasn't officially ended, according to the Connecticut attorney general's office. "The investigation is active and ongoing," Connecticut AG spokesperson Susan Kinsman told The Verge in an interview by phone. "We're not sure when it's coming to a close."

"We're not sure when it's coming to a close."

Bloomberg reports Google could settle with the states as early as next week, also pointing to the Wi-Fi user data that Google's Street View cars collected as they drove around the country between 2007 and 2010, and which resulted in a $25,000 fine from the FCC last year. Google has also paid out fines over Street View's Wi-Fi data in Europe and is still subject to lawsuits in some other countries around the world.

Update: A spokesperson for Google declined to provide any information on the reports of a settlement, but said: "We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn't, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue."