But row in US continues as firm refuses to hand over data
Data collected by Google’s Street View cars as they mapped the UK’s roads has been deleted, the search giant has revealed. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed the deletion.
According to the BBC most of the data, including passwords, emails and URLs, was deleted in November but legal issues outside the UK meant there was a delay with the rest. Now however, the firm "can confirm that the UK data has now been deleted, and that this has been independently certified," Google told the BBC.
"We are profoundly sorry for mistakenly collecting payload data in the UK from unencrypted wireless networks. Since we announced our mistake in May we have cooperated closely with the ICO and worked to improve our internal controls. As we have said before, we did not want this data, have never used any of it in our products or services, and have sought to delete it as quickly as possible," the search giant added.
The details came to light via a Freedom of Information request by someone called P. John.
Google insists the data was collected mistakenly from unsecured Wi-Fi networks when its cars toured the UK taking photographs for its Street View service. Despite agreeing that Google had breached the Data Protection Act the ICO did not take any significant action against the company, a decision that caused outrage among privacy advocates, as CBR reported at the time.
Meanwhile Google has refused to hand over harvested Street View data to Connecticut’s attorney general’s office, which is currently leading a multi-State probe in to the allegations in the US.
State attorney general Richard Blumenthal said: "I am disappointed by Google’s failure to comply with my information demands. We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps – including possible legal action – are warranted."
"Google’s story has changed from claiming it only collected fragments to acknowledging possible capture of full emails, making review of the data even more urgent," Blumenthal added.