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Google’s Street View cars return to UK roads

Google's Street View vehicles are to hit the UK roads again this week after the entire fleet was grounded over concerns about Wi-Fi snooping.

Google's Street View vehicles are to hit the UK roads again this week after the entire fleet was grounded over concerns about Wi-Fi snooping.

Google claimed private Wi-Fi data was harvested unintentionally by code included by mistake in software used by the Street View vehicles.

The discovery of Google's collection of Wi-Fi data stirred up a storm of controversy and sparked several investigations around the world, notably in the US, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

The Street View vehicles have been given the green light to resume collecting photos and 3D images after the removal of Wi-Fi equipment and other changes in consultation with local regulators.

The vehicles and off-road trikes will be travelling to most parts of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in the coming weeks.

The trikes will be used to photograph locations such as parks, tourist spots, National Trust properties and other "special sites", Google said.

Information about which areas the vehicles are operating in will be available on the local Google Maps website.

To expand Street View coverage in the UK, Google has set up a partnership programme for local councils and other organisations that would like to have their locations covered by Street View.

According to Google, Street View has proved to be popular across the UK - use of Google Maps has increased by more than 30% since Street View's launch.

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