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US Federal authorities to investigate Google Street View data capture

Warwick Ashford

US authorities are investigating whether Google violated federal laws by harvesting private Wi-Fi data as it collected images for its Street View service.

When the practice first came to light in May, Google said the data was fragmentary, but last month admitted that in some cases the data collected was quite detailed and included e-mail addresses, passwords and other personal data.

The revelation led the UK's Information Commissioner's Office to re-open its investigation and conclude that Google had violated UK's privacy laws.

Now the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it is looking into whether the actions in the latest disclosure violated the US Communications Act.

The FCC said it is committed to ensuring that the consumers affected by this breach of privacy receive a full and fair accounting, according to US reports.

The FCC probe comes just two weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down its own investigation after finding Google had taken adequate measures to prevent similar incidents in future.

The US reports said it was unclear what course of action the FCC will take if Google is found to have violated federal laws.


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