Police drop probe into Google Street View fiasco
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 at 12:40
Google will not face a criminal investigation into the Street View data collection fiasco, after the Metropolitan Police decided to drop the case.
The data breach was brought to the attention of the police after campaign group Privacy International alleged that collection of Wi-Fi network data while Google was capturing Street View images represented a criminal interception.
However, police said that having looked at the details the force would not be launching a formal investigation.
“We have considered the allegation into the data breach and we have been liaising with the Information Commissioner's Office,” a Met spokesperson told PC Pro.
“We have decided that it would not be appropriate to launch a criminal investigation into the issue and that's the end of the matter as far as we're concerned.”
The ball is now firmly back in the court of the ICO, which earlier this week effectively admitted it had not fully investigated the data breach when it first came to light back in April and said it was considering re-opening its investigation.
The change of stance came after Google admitted its data collection cars had collected more information than the company originally let on.
The ICO is able to fine organisations up to £500,000, but has yet to dish out any such punishment, and has been criticised for failing to act over privacy breaches. [a href="http://www.itpro.co.uk/628168/ico-can-t-fine-google-for-wi-fi-scandal" target="_blank"]" title="IT PRO" target="_blank"]Reports suggest the ICO won't be able to fine Google[/a], because the incident happened before it was given such powers.
The watchdog came under fire earlier this week over the issue, when Conservative MP Rob Halfon accused it of not treating privacy breaches by web giants seriously enough.
“As a country we don’t take individual rights seriously enough and the Information Commissioner’s response has been woeful," Halfon told PC Pro. “The Canadian and South Korean governments have dealt with the Google breach much more thoroughly."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
Trial by ignorance
Most people don't even understand what Google did. Remember that people got upset just by seeing their house on street view!
By Stiggy on 29 Oct 2010
Conservative MP Rob Halfon needs to have a word with his boss if he is concerned about public privacy. Although there are cutbacks in most areas, £2 billion has been promised to a project to log the e-mail, internet, phone and text messages of everyone in the UK. Despite The Conservatives and the Lib Dems both promising to “reverse the rise of the surveillance state”. George Orwell's 1984 was intended as a warning, not a blueprint.
By thirdbrother3 on 30 Oct 2010
- Windows 8.2: release date, features and free cloud version
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- iPhone 6 features, specs and UK release date: when does the iPhone 6 launch?
- Piracy warning letters: four strikes and you're not out
- iWatch UK release date, specs and price rumours: when is the iWatch coming to the UK?
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?