Google Street View data investigation reopened
The information watchdog has reopened its investigation into
Google's Street View cars and the personal data collected from unsecured
wifi networks in the UK.
Google agreed to delete all the information that had been collected in November 2010, telling the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that the data had been gathered as a result of a simple mistake.
But the ICO has now reopened its investigation following a report by a US watchdog which found emails, passwords and other information had been collected from millions of unknowing internet users through software deliberately written by an engineer.
Steve Eckersley, the ICO's head of enforcement, wrote to Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president, yesterday, telling him the ICO's investigation has been reopened and asking for further information.
The move followed a report by the Federal Communications Commission in the US which found in April that an engineer, engineer Doe, deliberately wrote the software to capture the information in 2006 and shared his work on the Street View project with the entire team in October of that year.
The long list of data collected by the cars included information relating to online dating sites, visits to pornographic sites, and data in video and audio files, Mr Eckersley said.
Medical listings, legal infractions, and complete email messages were also collected, with email headings, IP addresses, full names, usernames, passwords and telephone numbers.
"It therefore seems likely that such information was deliberately captured by GSV (Google Street View) operations conducted in the UK," Mr Eckersley wrote.
He added that during the ICO's original investigation, the watchdog was "specifically told by Google that it was a simple mistake".
The watchdog called for Google to provide details on what data was collected in the UK, when Google managers were aware it was happening, and why this type of data was not included in the sample of information provided to the ICO during its original investigation.
It also called for Google to provide investigators with copies of the original software design document and what measures were introduced to prevent breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Breaking: Soldier killed in Woolwich machete attack named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Video: Woolwich attack - man with bloodied hands and knife addresses camera
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Breaking: Soldier killed in Woolwich machete attack named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.