Google says sorry, deletes all UK Street View Wi-Fi data


Google says sorry, deletes all UK Street View Wi-Fi data

Jenny Williams

Google has deleted all UK payload data collected by its Street View cars from unsecured British Wi-Fi networks, the company has confirmed.

Google admitted earlier this year that it mistakenly collected data sent over Wi-Fi networks using its Street View cars to gather images for the controversial Street View service.


In a statement, Google confirmed the UK data had been deleted, saying it was "profoundly sorry" for mistakenly collecting payload data in the UK from unencrypted wireless networks.

"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 company said.

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) also confirmed the deletion process had been verified by an independent consulting firm in Stroz Friedberg.

The ICO had cleared Google of a UK Wi-Fi privacy breach in August, as initial investigations showed only fragments of information had been collected.

But the information commissioner ordered a new inquiry into Google's collection of Wi-Fi data in October after Google admitted more detailed information had been captured.

In November, the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, requested Google to delete the payload data collected in the UK as soon as it was legally cleared to do so.

Google signed a commitment to improve data handling last month to ensure breaches like the collection of private Wi-Fi data by its Street View vehicles do not happen again.

Google has faced legal action over its activities in collecting images for its Street View service in a number of countries:

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