On March 17, the French data protection authority, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertes (CNIL), imposed a 100,000 Euro fine on Google, for privacy violations arising from its collection of personal data with respect to its Street View product and its Latitude geolocation service.  This is the largest fine assessed by CNIL since it obtained the power to impose financial penalties in 2004.

The CNIL imposed this fine as a result of Google’s unlawful collection of personal data, as well as its failure to comply with agency requests that Google disclose information about the computer program used to obtain information on WI-FI network users.  The CNIL also cited Google’s continued collection of data on Wi-Fi access points through smart phones connected to its Latitude service, without notifying users, in its decision.  Google has two months to appeal the decision to the French State Council.