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Google admits it failed to delete all Street View data

Confesses to the ICO
Fri Jul 27 2012, 15:12
Google Street View car

INTERNET SERVICES GIANT Google has admitted that it failed to delete all data collected using its Street View vehicles, which could include users personal details, in a letter issued to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The letter sent by Peter Fleischer, who works as Google's global privacy counsel, says that the company is still in possession of a "small portion of payload data" collected by its Street View WiFi vehicles.

Google told the ICO that it would "like to delete the remaining UK data", asking the UK privacy regulator for help in doing so.

The ICO send The INQUIRER its response to Google's letter, which reads, "Earlier today Google contacted the ICO to confirm that it still had in its possession some of the payload data collected by its Street View vehicles prior to May 2010.

"This data was supposed to have been deleted in December 2010. The fact that some of this information still exists appears to breach the undertaking to the ICO signed by Google in November 2010.

"Google indicated that it wanted to delete the remaining data and asked for the ICO's instructions on how to proceed. Our response, which has already been issued, makes clear that Google must supply the data to the ICO immediately, so that we can subject it to forensic analysis before deciding on the necessary course of action.

"The ICO has always been clear that this should never have happened in the first place and the company's failure to secure its deletion as promised is cause for concern."

The ICO added that it is in touch with other data protection authorities in the EU and elsewhere to coordinate the response. µ


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