Spain is the latest country to take Google to task over alleged privacy violations whereby the search engine giant said it had “mistakenly included code” while mapping Street View, resulting in the collection of data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.
The Spanish government launched an investigation following Google’s admission that its Street View cars had been collecting more than imagery and GPS data on their travels in more than 30 countries.
This investigation will determine whether Google has committed a crime in the process of this Street View mapping, and as part of this a Madrid judge has ordered a Google representative to appear in court on 4 October.
Here in Ireland the Data Protection Authority has already dealt with this by requesting that Google destroy all data collected from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks in the presence of an independent third party.
Google Street View has not yet launched in the Republic and the Google cars were back (minus the Wi-Fi data collection) earlier this month to "fill a few gaps".
The Google car collects street level data to create an interactive panoramic view
More recently, police in Korea raided Google’s offices as part of their investigation into the unauthorised collection of Wi-Fi data while in the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office cleared the internet company of any illegal action acts, asserting that it had not captured "significant amounts of personal data."