UK Commission Orders Google to Delete Street View Data

Google, the Internet search and map giant, is facing criminal charge if it fails to destroy all the payload data it gathered through Wi-Fi on its Street View vehicles. The search giant has 35 days to delete the information.

The Information Commissioners Office is currently reviewing the new unified privacy policy of Google and today announced it served Google with a notice of enforcement that requires it to delete the entire Wi-Fi payload it collected on its Street View vehicles in 2009. If Google fails to do so, it would be held in contempt.

The data protection regulator in the UK is reinvestigating the Internet giant just a year after the case was closed. This follows a report by the FCC claiming Google knew of its Street View car data collection.

Google’s vehicles used in Street View gathered payload information from Wi-Fi connections that were unsecured in many countries, while they were on the road filming for its mapping service.

The data protection regulator for the UK in April started a probe after the FCC report was released in the U.S. that said Google was aware of its vehicles gathering the data.

During the investigation, Google reported to the UK regulator, as it did to other jurisdictions, that it discovered extra discs that had the data but had failed to have them destroyed, which an earlier order had required it to do.

Specific for the UK, the Internet giant located four discs in February that were not destroyed and did not report that find until July of 2012 and another was found in October. The ICO however says it fears additional discs might be out there that Google missed.

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