Google agrees to delete Street View data in Britain

Nov 19, 2010
A special camera of Google is picured during a press conference on November 18 in Germany. Google has agreed to delete private emails and passwords mistakenly picked up from wireless networks in Britain by its Street View cars, the British information commissioner said Friday.

Google has agreed to delete private emails and passwords mistakenly picked up from wireless networks in Britain by its Street View cars, the British information commissioner said Friday.

The US Internet giant has also agreed to improve the way it trains staff on data protection issues as it seeks to manage a global row over the cars, which gather information for its free online mapping services.

"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," said Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, Britain's data protection .

He added: "I am very pleased to have a firm commitment from to work with my office to improve its handling of personal information.

"We don't want another breach like the collection of payload data by Google vehicles to occur again."

Graham said this month that Google had committed a "significant breach" of British law when its Street View cars picked up private data but said it would not be fined as long as it promised not to do so again.

In the agreement announced Friday, which was signed by Google senior vice president Alan Eustace, the firm said its purpose had been to identify Wi-Fi networks and to map where they were for location-based .

It has now agreed to "delete payload data that has been identified as having been collected by Google in the UK, to the extent that Google has no other outstanding legal obligation to retain such data".

A Google spokeswoman said: "We're pleased that the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) have concluded their investigation and we will be working to delete the data as soon as possible."

The firm will also boost training for engineers and other staff about the collection and use of and allow Graham's office to conduct an audit of its privacy training programmes and privacy reviews of new products.

Google announced in May that its Street View cars, taking photographs of cities in more than 30 countries, had inadvertently gathered data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems, sparking complaints by data regulators worldwide.

It has since stopped the collection of data by Street View cars.

Explore further: Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canada's privacy czar launches Google investigation

Jun 01, 2010

Canada's privacy commissioner said Tuesday she was probing Google's inadvertent collection of data from unsecured wireless networks as its cars photographed streetscapes for its mapping service.

Recommended for you

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

18 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

19 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Arkaleus
5 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2010
I'm a little confused. What WiFi systems out there broadcast password (?!) and user information? Did they leave the "Haxx me please" button checked? Is there a "mummy government access" layer in the UK IP stack that bleeds out your key data?

Sounds like ninny paranoia and government overreaction to me.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.