Google still holds data unlawfully obtained by StreetView

By EDRi · August 1, 2012

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Deutsch: [Google noch immer in Besitz unrechtmäßig gesammelter Street-View-Daten |]

Google admitted, in a letter addressed on 27 July 2012 to UK Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as well as to the Irish Data Protection
Commission office that it had not yet deleted all the data unlawfully
obtained in UK by its Street View cars.

After the discovery in May 2010 that Google had scanned, by means of its
Street View cars, the airwaves to identify and map WiFi thus
unlawfully obtaining private data, the company was instructed to delete
all data thus gathered. According to the present Google’s letter, a
“small portion” of the respective data is still in the company’s
possession. Google also asked in its letter for instruction on how to
proceed in deleting the rest of the data.

“In recent months, Google has been reviewing its handling of Street View
disks and undertaking a comprehensive manual review of our Street View
disk inventory. That review involves the physical inspection and
re-scanning of thousands of disks. In conducting that review, we have
determined that we continue to have payload data from the UK and other
countries. We are in the process of notifying the relevant authorities
in those countries,” said Google’s privacy counsel Peter Fleischer.

ICO answered the letter on 28 July saying Google should promptly supply
the remaining data to the ICO which would “examine the contents” warning
at the same time the company that it might be in breach of the terms
previously agreed following the investigation into the issue in 2010.
Billy Hawkes, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, said Google was
supposed to have deleted all the data and considered the situation
“clearly unacceptable”.

ICO stated that it would coordinate its further actions in the matter
with other data protection authorities through the Article 29 Working
Party and the GPEN network.

Google admits not all unlawfully-collected Street View data has been
deleted (27.07.2012)

Google warned on data deletion delay (28.07.2012)

EDRi-gram 10.12: Google’s Street View privacy breach again in the public eye