This isn’t at all Google’s week when it comes to international regulations and the company’s collection of sensitive WiFi data. First came the news it might be fined $3.3 million in Spain. Now there’s been an official declaration that Google broke Canadian privacy laws.
Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, stated today in reference to the Street View mix-up, "Our investigation shows that Google did capture personal information – and, in some cases, highly sensitive personal information such as complete e-mails."
Stoddart then added that, even though the problem code was traced to a single engineer, "This incident was a serious violation of Canadians’ privacy rights."
As a result, the Privacy Commissioner is pushing for Google to delete the data it collected. She’d like to see the company implement a better privacy-related governance model, too, and also improve the privacy training it gives employees.
Google has until February 1st to comply.
That means the search giant isn’t facing any (additional) imminent legal threats, at least, which should relieve fans and shareholders. Still, this decision represents a serious black eye on the PR front.