Google to delete UK-intercepted Wi-Fi data


22 Nov 2010

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Google will delete the personal Wi-Fi data it had accidentally gathered throughout the UK by its Street View Cars.

According to the BBC, the UK information commissioner confirmed that Google will delete the data “as soon as possible.”

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

The information commissioner had previously said there was no evidence to show that Google’s accidental collection of this data would cause detriment.

However, the commissioner later learned that passwords and entire emails were captured, in which he said Google was in “significant breach” of the Data Protection Act.

However, now the deputy information commissioner David Smith said there would be no further inquiries in regards to the mishap and that Google will not be fined.

"We’d have had to find that there was substantial damage or distress to individuals from the collection of snippets of emails, URLs and passwords,” Smith said to the BBC.

“We’d have to meet that criteria for a penalty to be imposed," he said.

Smith did admit that the UK spent “less time searching than others did” in its investigation of the privacy breach.

The accidental gathering of Wi-Fi data through Google’s Street cars has caused controversy worldwide.

Spain has filed a lawsuit against the search company and the US recently called off a federal investigation into the matter.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission told Google to destroy the data on the spot when it discovered the breach.

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