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Google faces landmark fine in Britain for 'gross invasion of privacy'

Britain's Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, announced yesterday that a new investigation into the Google Street View privacy debacle will be opened. If found guilty of a breach of privacy, Google could face a fine of up to £500,000 ($790,000).

While £500,000 might seem like a pittance compared to the billions of dollars that Google has in the bank, it is the maximum fine that a privacy breach in Britain can warrant. It would be a publicity disaster, too, and it would open the flood gates for fines from other countries.

Google has already admitted that both emails and passwords were scooped out of the air by its Wi-Fi snooping. It is probably no coincidence that Britain is only now announcing a new investigation into the matter -- and it's hard to see how this new investigation can return anything other than a guilty verdict for Google.

Tags: britain, google street view, GoogleStreetView, street view, StreetView, uk, united kingdom, UnitedKingdom, wi-fi