Google Street View described as 'Orwellian surveillance' by EU commissioner

Google may have put its Street View data-collection debacle to rest in the US with the payment of a $25,000 fine to the Federal Communications Commission, but in Europe it may not get off quite so easily.

European lawmakers are calling for a stronger response to Google's collection of personal data from the Wi-Fi routers of unsuspecting households, and the rhetoric of condemnation for the company's actions is ramping up.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's recent comments to German magazine Der Spiegel decried Google as an "Orwellschem Uberwachungsapparat" -- German for "Orwellian surveillance apparatus."

Evidently, Reding was not at all happy to discover that Google's harvesting of sensitive personal information from unsuspecting households was neither a mistake nor the work of a rogue engineer, as the company had long maintained.

"My impression is that Google has trampled European data-protection legislation," Reding said.

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Google's Street View debacle is still being reviewed by regulators in Germany and France.