Brazil orders Google to hand over Street View data

Nov 07, 2013
The Google street view mapping and camera vehicle stands in front of the National Congress as it charts the streets of Brasília, Brazil's capital, on September 6, 2011

Brazilian judges have given US Internet search giant Google until Saturday to turn over private data collected through its Street View program, press reports said Thursday.

Failure to do so would mean a daily fine of $50,000, up to a maximum of $500,000.

Google equips cars with cameras and antennas to take photos of streets and houses, which are later posted to a feature in its maps program called Street View.

The photos are pieced together online to create a map that a person on a street would see.

According to a complaint from the Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights (IBDI), the car-borne software also enables Street View to access private wi-fi networks and intercept personal data and electronic communications.

IBDI pointed to similar occurences in other parts of the world and demanded that Google reveal if it had engaged in such practices.

It said Google had admitted collecting data while insisting they were not used "in its products and services. The US search engine stressed that it had now removed the data collection software from its vehicles.

The case followed press disclosures, based on documents leaked by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, of massive US cyberspying in Brazil.

Targets included President Dilma Rousseff's communications, those of state-run energy giant Petrobras and emails and telephone calls of millions of Brazilians.

Google has denied any link to the US electronic snooping, mainly conducted by the powerful National Security Agency (NSA).

But files obtained from Snowden, who is in exile in Russia and sought by US authorities for violation of espionage laws, indicated that NSA can collect data sent by between Google and Yahoo data hubs.

Google told the court the debate on data collection took place in several countries some time ago and was now closed.

It did admit that its software can intercept signals from open wi-fi networks.

Google also said it had been in contact with authorities of countries where these incidents occurred, but in the case of Brazil there was no relevant legislation nor a regulatory body.

Google and other leading tech companies have expressed opposition to the creation of Brazil-based databases of local customer information, as proposed by Brasilia in a bid to combat foreign spying.

Google says in principle it backs proposed legislation enshrining an Internet civil rights framework, dubbed Marco Civil de Internet in Brazil.

But it has warned that a proposed amendment to Marco Civil requiring Internet firms to store Brazilian user data in Brazil "risks denying Brazilian users access to great services that are provided by US and other international companies."

Explore further: Net giants opposed to Brazil datebase creation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Net giants opposed to Brazil datebase creation

Oct 26, 2013

Web giant Google and other Internet companies say they oppose creating Brazil-based databases of local customer information, proposed by a Brazilian government determined to crack down on espionage.

Brazil 'wants to question tech giants'

Oct 25, 2013

Shocked by evidence of eavesdropping on government communications, Brazilian police intend to ask US permission to question the heads of tech giants, Globo television reported Friday.

Google boss says US data spying is "outrageous"

Nov 04, 2013

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said reports that the US government spied on the Internet giant's data centres were "outrageous" and potentially illegal if proved true, in an interview Monday.

Recommended for you

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

3 hours ago

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

8 hours ago

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

9 hours ago

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

9 hours ago

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

22 hours ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

Aug 21, 2014

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Humpty
1 / 5 (9) Nov 07, 2013
"Google has denied any link to the US electronic snooping, mainly conducted by the powerful National Security Agency (NSA)."

Naaaaaaaaaa they just scan every fucking thing they can, in every location they can, while they can - I mean why just take pictures of the road? - When you can take GPS snapshots of all the wireless roads as well?

Of COURSE it's NOT the people who are running GOOGLE who are doing it - their cables are hacked by the NSA - they are the ones who are doing it... AFTER the people running Google collect it ---- So that lets them off the hook - Yahhhhh right.

Yeah the management of Google - have been caught out lying about this time after time after time...

First it was a programmer who developed the software to scan for wi-fi etc., although it wasn't needed, accidentally left it in the software in the trucks - along with the scanning antennas.... then the lying came undone - as it was not the engineer - it was the surveillance policy of the managers of Google..