Business

FCC seeks to fine Google $25,000

SAN FRANCISCO - The Federal Communications Commission is seeking a $25,000 fine from Google Inc. for not cooperating with an investigation into the company’s collection of personal data over wireless networks.

For months, Google impeded and delayed the probe, which concerned e-mail, text messages, and other private material gathered in connection with the company’s Street View location service, according to an FCC filing dated April 13.

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Google, with a market value of $203.5 billion, defended its interactions with the agency.

“We worked in good faith to answer the FCC’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we’re pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law,’’ the company said in an e-mailed statement.

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Google said it wasn’t “found to have violated any laws’’ in an investigation by the FCC.

In an e-mailed statement Sunday, Google said, “We disagree with the FCC’s characterization of our cooperation in their investigation and will be filing a response.’’

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, has come under mounting scrutiny from regulators over how it handles data.

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Last year, the company agreed to 20 years of independent privacy audits to settle claims with the Federal Trade Commission that it deceived users and violated its own privacy policies with the Buzz social network. While the FCC fine will have little financial impact, it is a bigger hit in the court of public opinion, said Greg Sterling, an analyst with Opus Research.

“This contributes to an image problem,’’ Sterling said in an interview. “Many lawmakers and regulators have a negative view of Google, and this just reinforces that.’’

The FCC said it was not penalizing Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., for violating laws against unauthorized interception of communications.

“There is not clear precedent,’’ the agency said in the filing.

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