WASHINGTON, D.C. — After nearly two years since news broke that Google was violating privacy law by collecting personal information from unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, we are no closer to finding out what happened, why, and what became of the private data. Now the Federal Communications Commission says Google “deliberately impeded and delayed” the agency’s investigation into the “Wi-Spy” matter and has fined the search giant $25,000.
We support the FCC’s action against Google, but this small fine will not serve to change the behavior of a company with a market capitalization in excess of $200 billion. The company has consistently shown disregard for consumer privacy, and its pattern of action warrants greater scrutiny by regulators and members of Congress.
Because Google has dragged its feet with the FCC and consistently shows itself unresponsive to privacy concerns, it is time for Members of Congress to get to the bottom of the Wi-Spy matter by holding hearings on Capitol Hill. Google must operate within U.S. privacy and consumer protection laws, and hearings will give the company an opportunity to explain how it will prevent future violations.