Government Fines Google 0.0008% of How Much It Made Last Quarter for Violating Your PrivacyS

Leave it to the FCC to stick it to nefarious corporate overreaching: USA Today reports the FCC just slammed Google with a $25,000 fine obstructing an investigation into collecting private information about American Wi-Fi networks. That'll stop 'em!

Given that Google earned $2.89 billion last quarter alone, it's hard to believe the company will even notice the fine, let alone be deterred by it. Google can also appeal the minuscule fine. And this wasn't any minor infraction:

During the process of capturing images, Google's fleet of WiFi-ready Street View vehicles captured Web-surfing data, passwords and e-mails. Two years ago, Google admitted that its cars had captured the data.

Creepy stuff. And as laughable as this is, we oughtn't be laughing. Companies will get away with whatever they can afford to, and with the FCC either unable or unwilling to slap a giant like Google any harder than a pathetic 25 grand's worth, companies will get away with a lot. [USA Today via Fark]

Update: The previous version of this post stated that Google was fined for the collection of the data, when it fact the fine was given for "[impeding] the Federal Communications Commission's investigation."