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Italy slaps Google with $1.4m fine over Street View privacy concerns

Google has paid a fine of 1 million euros to Italy's Data Protection Authority (DPA) to settle complaints that the Street View cars used to record mapping images in the country four years ago were not distinctly marked.

The Italian watchdog group argued that local people in the path of these vehicles had no way of knowing they may be photographed, and therefore could not avoid being captured on film.

The group said it received complaints about those who did not want to appear in photos, but now appear in Street View's photos.

As part of the agreement, Google must now mark Street View cars with signs or stickers, and reveal on its website the intended locations three days before the start of filming. A similar notice must be published in at least two local newspapers and circulated through radio stations for each of the regions visited.

"The fine from the DPA relates to an old case that dates back to 2010," Google said in a statement. "We complied with everything the DPA required of us at the time."

This is not the first time overseas regulators have battled Google over Street View, though things have calmed down lately. The biggest issue in recent years was Google's unauthorised collection of data travelling over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The company's Street View cars gathered the data accidentally, but Google faced fines in various countries, including the UK.

Still, Google pressed on, a year ago unveiling a major Street View expansion in Europe, which included panoramas of nearly 200 new towns and cities in Russia, and thousands of miles of new U.K. imagery. Just this week, it unveiled imagery from the temples of Cambodia's Angkor Wat.