Google gets record privacy fine in France and email trouble in China

SEARCH engine Google weathered two international spats yesterday, as France fined the online giant for breaching privacy rules and the firm blamed the Chinese government for interfering with its email service.

France’s online privacy watchdog CNIL slapped Google with a €100,000 (£87,146) fine, CNIL’s biggest to date, for collecting data unfairly through its Street View mapping cameras last May. “We are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks,” said Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel.

Meanwhile, Google said yesterday that Beijing authorities were behind interruptions to its Gmail service in China, after users complained of several weeks of slow or non-existent access.