Google in ‘significant breach’ of UK data laws


3 Nov 2010

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The UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has determined that Google’s collection of personal data through Street View was a “significant breach” of the Data Protection Act.

Google has been put under fire for accidentally collecting payload data from its Wi-Fi mapping of the world through Google Street View.

Investigations have occurred worldwide in regards to these breaches of privacy. In Ireland, the Irish Data Protection Commission had told Google to delete the data on the spot, having been assured that it wouldn’t happen again.

While the ICO had previously stated it had no evidence that the information Google had gathered caused or could caused detriment, as it thought the information fragmentary, according to a letter from Christopher Graham, it later learned that in some cases, passwords and entire emails were captured.

According to a statement, Google UK will be subject to an audit and will be required to sign an undertaking to ensure it won’t breach the Data Protection Act again, or face "enforcement action."

However, Google will not be required to pay compensation for this infringement, but according to the statement, the commissioner is “well placed to take further regulatory action if the undertaking is not fully complied with.”

The Commissioner also told Google to delete all the data it had accidentally acquired in the UK once it was legally required to do so.

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