Google Inc has been fined $25,000 for deliberately obstructing an investigation by a US regulator into its controversial data collection for its Street View project.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed the fine on 13 April, alleging that the Mountain View, California-based company had collected personal data without permission and then deliberately impeded the FCC's investigation.
The FCC said in its 25-page report that it had launched an investigation into Google's Street View project in late 2010, and although the company had apologised and promised not to use the so-called payload data, Google has since "apparently wilfully and repeatedly violated commission orders" during the probe.
"For many months, Google deliberately impeded and delayed the bureau's investigation by failing to respond to requests for material information and to provide certifications and verifications of its responses," the report said.
The report also said that Google had refused to identify the employees involved.
The FCC launched a probe to find out why Google's Street View cars had collected payload data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks via code written for an experimental project and what happened to that data.