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Nov 19

Google Agrees To Delete Street View Data

by Gary Mitchell

Google Street View Car

Google is to delete all the personal data its Street View cars collected from unsecured wi-fi networks.

The internet giant has also agreed to an overhaul of how it trains staff to handle private information, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said.

It comes after the company sparked an international outcry over claims it was spying on people with its Street View mapping cars and technology.

It was accused of unlawfully harvesting data including emails, passwords and website addresses during the creation of the popular mapping product.

MPs accused the company of deliberately collecting millions of passwords, websites (URLs) and emails for commercial gain.

Google said it had inadvertently gathered information from unsecured wireless networks as its vehicles roamed residential streets.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will conduct a full audit of Google’s privacy procedures within nine months.

Mr Graham said Google will introduce improved training measures on security awareness and data protection issues for all its employees worldwide.

Fingers typing on a computer keyboard

He said: “We don’t want another breach like the collection of payload data by Google Street View vehicles to occur again.

“It is a significant achievement to have an undertaking from a major multinational corporation like Google Inc that extends to its global policies and not just its UK activities.

“We will be keeping a close watch on the progress Google makes and will follow up with an extensive audit.

“Meanwhile, I welcome the fact that the wi-fi payload data that should never have been collected in the first place can, at last, be deleted.”

The Metropolitan Police recently announced that they would not launch a criminal inquiry.

A Google spokeswoman said: “We’re pleased that the ICO have concluded their investigation and we will be working to delete the data as soon as possible.”

[Source]

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