Google faces further privacy-breach probe

Google faces further regulatory investigation after admitting it collected private information such as network and email passwords using its Google StreetView cars.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it would probe the information Google had collected while developing its StreetView product after Canadian regulators claimed it had infringed the privacy rights in the country.

Googl faced an earlier investigation from the ICO in May but the body claimed no “significant” details had been collected.

Since then Google admitted to Canadian authorities it had inadvertently collected unsecured information from Wi-Fi networks, such as computer passwords.

An ICO spokesman said, “While the information we saw at the time didn’t include meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person, we have continued to liaise with, and await the findings of, the investigations carried out by our international counterparts.”

Alan Eustace, Google’s senior VP for engineering and research, said, “We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and I would like to apologise again for the fact that we collected it in the first place. We are mortified by what happened.”

Google wrote on its official blog that it has appointed Alma Whitten as director of privacy for its engineering and product team, and that all its employees will receive further privacy training.

This story first appeared on

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