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Google pays 1-million-Euro fine imposed by the Italian DPA because of Google’s Street View service

[versione italiana]

Google pays 1-million-Euro fine imposed by the Italian DPA because of Google´s Street View service

Google paid a 1-million-Euro fine imposed by the Italian DPA because of Google´s Street View service. The facts at issue date back to 2010, when the "Google cars" were driving throughout Italy without being recognizable as such so that whoever did not want to be "captured" in the images taken by the "Google cars" could not decide in advance what to do. Several complaints had been lodged on this ground with the Italian DPA against the pictures posted online – which actually are stored for long and may be zoomed into.

A decision by the Italian DPA (see web doc. No. 1759972) had ordered Google to make the "Google cars" easily identifiable by way of visible notices or stickers and publish the list of the locations to be visited by the Google cars three days beforehand, by also specifying the neighbourhoods or areas visited in large cities. Google was also required to publish similar notices on the local news sections of at least two dailies and to broadcast this information via a local radio station in each of the Regions to be visited. These measures were implemented timely by Google.

Having concluded the proceeding aimed at the possible imposition of penalties, the Italian DPA decided to impose a fine amounting to 1 million Euro (which was paid by Google a few weeks ago) (see web doc. No. 2954309); this was done by having regard, in particular, to the circumstance that the unlawfully collected information would be pooled into a large database of substantial import – i.e. the one set up by Google in connection with the Street View service.

The Italian DPA decided to rely on the provision in the Privacy Code that is aimed at ensuring effective sanctions are imposed on major business entities - exactly by considering that Google´s consolidated turnover for 2012 totalled over 50 billion dollars.

Rome, 3 April 2014