Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

DPA: Comply with Demands or Face Fines

ONLINE PRIVACY—NETHERLANDS

April 20, 2011

The Dutch Data Protection Authority said Google collected the Media Access Control (MAC) addresses of more than 3.6 million WiFi routers while its Street View cars photographed Dutch streets, The Wall Street Journal reports. The MAC addresses are unique identifiers attached to each computer's wireless hardware. Combined with the ability to locate the hardware, the MAC addresses qualify as personal data "that could provide information about the routers' owners and requires Google to offer an online opt out," the authority said Tuesday. The company could face fines of up to €1 million if it fails to comply within three months.
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