Brazil orders Google to hand over Street View data

November 7, 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

Related Stories

Net giants opposed to Brazil datebase creation

October 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'

October 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"

November 4, 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.

Google loses appeal in Street View snooping case (Update)

September 10, 2013

A U.S. appeals court said Google wrongly collected people's personal correspondence and online activities through their Wi-Fi systems as it drove down their streets with car cameras shooting photos for its Street View mapping ...

Recommended for you

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

October 17, 2017

Dutch officials toasted on Tuesday the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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..

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.