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ICO clears Google of UK WiFi privacy breach

02 August 2010

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has cleared Google of collecting "meaningful personal details" when private WiFi data was intercepted as it recorded images for its Street View service.

Google's Street View vehicles collected only fragments and this information could not be linked to an identifiable person, the ICO said.

Google has claimed that the interception of the data was unintentional and caused by the inclusion of experimental code by mistake in software used by the Street View cars.

The ICO said on the basis of the samples of the records collected in the UK, it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data.

"There is also no evidence as yet that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment," the privacy watchdog said.

But the ICO said it was still wrong of Google to have collected the information and it would remain vigilant, reviewing any relevant findings from other investigations around the world.

The exposure of Google's collection of the data has sparked investigations in the US, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand.

This story was first published by Computer Weekly

This article is featured in:
Compliance and Policy  •  Wireless and Mobile Security


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