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.
It’s important to note that the ICO, which is an independent authority, didn’t analyze every scrap of information, so this doesn’t count as conclusive proof that only random 1s and 0s were collected. Also, the ICO didn’t in any way argue that it was okay for Google to record the data.
Still, the ICO told Dan Worth, "On the basis of the samples we saw we are satisfied so far that 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 ICO then stated, "We will be alerting Privacy International and others who have complained to us of our position."
That counts as a significant win for Google. Things hadn’t been going too well beforehand, with more and more officials clamoring to investigate the company’s practices and possibly impose penalties. Now it’s effectively been let off the hook by one inquiry.
It should be interesting to see if any other groups are willing to accept the ICO’s word on this matter.