Google Wi-Fi slurp cleared by UK privacy watchdog

by David Naylor
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Below is the ICO announcement that clears Google of spying on us … what I just don’t get is Google said it was a mistake in June, they even blamed a software engineer for scooping up the Wi-Fi data.. if it was truly a mistake why not just delete the data ??? and if it was truly a mistake why did they apply for a patent on the technology in January ..

29 July 2010 :Google – Assessment of WiFi data

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said:

"The ICO has visited Google's premises to assess samples of the ‘pay-load' data it inadvertently collected. Whilst Google considered it unlikely that it had collected anything other than fragments of content, we wanted to make our own judgement as to the likelihood that significant personal data had been retained and, if so, the extent of any intrusion.

The information we saw does not include meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person. As we have only seen samples of the records collected in the UK we recognise that other data protection authorities conducting a detailed analysis of all the payload data collected in their jurisdictions may nevertheless find samples of information which can be linked to identifiable individuals. However, on the basis of the samples we saw we are satisfied so far that it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data.

There is also no evidence as yet that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment. Nevertheless it was wrong to collect the information. We will be alerting Privacy International and others who have complained to us of our position. The Information Commissioner is taking a responsible and proportionate approach to this case. However, we remain vigilant and will be reviewing any relevant findings and evidence from our international counterparts' investigations."

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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