Verizon Fined for Electrocuted Technician, Google Questioned for Cookies

Today’s mobile roundup features Samsung and Verizon’s latest fines, while Google faces questions for its cookies.

Samsung fined for obstructing justice

Samsung  was fined a massive 400 million won (US$356,000) for obstructing an inquiry from South Korea’s trade regulator investigating deceptive mobile phone pricing practices.

According to the Fair Trade Commission, Samsung’s management and employees initially denied access to Samsung’s wireless division in Suwon, deleted data on computers and submitted false data.

Last week, the FTC announced fines for SK Telecom, KT, LG U+, Samsung Electronics, Pantech and LG Electronics due to improper mobile phone pricing practices.  The collective fine amounts to 45.8 billion won.

Verizon fined for safety violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that Verizon has been fined $140,000, the maximum amount allowed by law, for safety violations after the electrocution and death of Douglas Lalima, one of their technicians.

According to a report form the New York Times, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Verizon repeatedly failed to abide by safety rules in place to protect its workers, and issued 10 citations against the company.  Lalima was working on overhead cables from inside a bucket truck in Brownsville last September when he was electrocuted as witnesses watched in horror as his body caught fire.

“Verizon’s culture of indifference puts profits over workers’ safety,” said Chris Shelton, vice president of the Communications Workers of America District 1. “There is no way to sugarcoat this: if Douglas Lalima had the proper equipment and training, he would still be alive today.”

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo stated that Verizon has extensive safety practices in place designed to prevent incidents such as the one that happened to Lalima that are thoroughly and continually reviewed with employees.  Verizon has 15 days to pay the fine, rectify violations or appeal the case.  The company is said to be filing for an appeal.


Search giant Google Inc. is being questioned by the National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) to determine whether their Android platform violated European privacy rules.

Google has until Apri 5 to answer a list of 69 questions given to them by the CNIL.  Google defied two requests by CNIL to suspend changes to the policy while it determined whether those changes comply with European privacy standards.

The questions “reflect the need for legal clarifications on your new privacy policy and in particular on the sharing of user data across Google services,” according to CNIL’s letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page.

Google replied in an email stated that they are confident that their “new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles.”  The search giant acknowledged that they received the letter dated March 16th and would respond in due time.