At least in the UK, Google may finally be able to put its recent Street View privacy gaffe behind it. The company’s signed a commitment to improve its handling of data, and as a result, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has given Google permission to delete the sensitive information it collected by accident.
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office has concluded its investigation of Google’s Street View privacy gaffe, and there’s good news and bad news for the search giant. The bad, which arguably outweighs the good: it’s been judged guilty of a "significant breach of the Data Protection Act."
In a formal statement, the ICO said, "The Commissioner has concluded that there was a significant breach of the Data Protection Act when Google Street View cars collected payload data as part of their wi-fi mapping exercise in the UK."
Google may soon make British history, but not in way that will make anyone proud. Due to the company’s admission that its Street View cars sometimes collected entire emails and passwords while taking pictures, Google could become the first organization to be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
There’s a bit of good news for Google this morning in relation to the Street View data collection clash. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office announced that it’s had a look at some of the data, and the organization is inclined to believe that no harm will come of Google’s mistake.
However facepalm-worthy Google’s accidental collection of sensitive data sent over WiFi networks may have been, the search giant is at least wasting no time in remedying the situation. At the request of the Irish Data Protection Authority, Google has already deleted the data it accumulated in Ireland, and the company appears set to dispose of the data it collected in the UK, as well.