Back in June, the founder of 4G hotspot provider Karma got up on stage and announced partnerships with American Airlines and car service Uber. Only there were no final, formalized partnerships–just “talks” that might’ve been going well, but certainly weren’t done. At the time, it looked like a pretty devastating misstep.
Fast forward to Wednesday, when one of the world’s largest tech companies did some similar fudging. Google announced “a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet.” Pretty sweet for those of you racking up the AmEx rewards.
The FCC might have let the company off with just a $25,000 noncompliance fine, but it doesn’t look like Google’s StreetView troubles are over just yet. The agency’s final report found that, no, the unsecured Wifi data grab wasn’t actually the rogue act of some out-of-control engineer. The supposed lone gunman was open with at least one senior manager about what he was doing–there just wasn’t interest in either stopping or encouraging his behavior.
This new gloss on the matter has European regulators reconsidering their initial leniency–and apparently they are none too pleased with Google. All but two investigations (both German) were closed when the company ascribed blame to a single out-of-line engineer, and now, according to Jacob Kohnstamm, who is the chair of the E.U.’s data privacy working group, they feel misled. “We certainly will discuss the matter” at an upcoming convention, he told the New York Times, adding, ”My first reaction is, this is a bloody shame.”