THE APPARENTLY CLUELESS UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has been scolded again for its handling of the Google Street View investigation.
The privacy watchdog already has its tail between its legs over its decision not to fine the web giant, and now it has been accused of performing a merely cursory investigation when apparently the people wanted to see some doors get kicked in at Google.
Rob Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow that has been one of the most vocal critics of both Google and the ICO told the Guardian today that the investigation was blighted from the start because of shoddy management.
"I find it astonishing that the Information Commissioner seemingly did not send technical people to investigate the Google breach of our private data", he said, revealing that in fact the watchdog had sent two, um, chaps to have a look around and ask some questions at Google. The ICO apparently sent an assistant commissioner and a "strategic liasion group manager", according to the Guardian.
"The IOC (sic) seems more Keystone Cops than protector of our civil liberties. It is extraordinary that the IOC can spend £13m on PR over 10 years but can't find the right resources to investigate breaches of our data protection," added Halfon.
The fact that two people from the ICO have been to Google in recent months is progress however. According to Jonathan Djanogly, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, no one from the Commisioner's office had set foot in a Google building in the last two years.
This is rather interesting news, given the firm's views on privacy, the scandal over its Buzz application, oh, and the fact that it routinely handles people's personal information on a mega-scale.
Last week the watchdog said that it wasn't very happy with what Google had done when it gathered up personal email and password information, but drew the line at actually fining it.
Instead the ICO meekly reminded Google of its responsibilities and threatened it with the possibility that it might conduct an overdue audit. Maybe. µ
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