Feeds

ICO U-turns on Street View

Lapdog growls

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Information Commissioner's Office has changed its mind about Google's Street View and decided that it is after all in breach of the Data Protection Act.

The watchdog will require Google to sign a piece of paper promising not to break the law again.

The ICO will also audit Google's privacy practices.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: "It is my view that the collection of this information was not fair or lawful and constitutes a significant breach of the first principle of the Data Protection Act. The most appropriate and proportionate regulatory action in these circumstances is to get written legal assurance from Google that this will not happen again – and to follow this up with an ICO audit.”

The ICO said: "The Commissioner has rejected calls for a monetary penalty to be imposed but is well placed to take further regulatory action if the undertaking is not fully complied with."

The Metropolitan Police last week dropped its investigation into the Street View.

The search and ad giant recently appointed a privacy director to help it sort out internal practices and oversee privacy in all its products. This came after it admitted that its mass Wi-Fi snoop from its fleet of Street View cars had slurped up passwords and entire emails and URLs. The company insists the data was collected accidentally.

The U-turn ends a less than glorious episode for the ICO which initially cleared Google's collection of Wi-Fi data by insisting it contained no personal information.

Then the ICO reopened its investigation in the wake of tougher action by other privacy bodies around the world.

Last week it was attacked by MPs, who described its behaviour as "lily-livered".

The Czech Republic recently stopped Google's Street View cars collecting more pictures until Google applies for a data processing licence.

Big Brother Watch's Alex Deane said: "The Information Commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful.

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the Commissioner to be a paper tiger. The Commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.

"If Google can harvest the personal information of thousands of people and get off scot-free, then the ICO plainly has a contempt for privacy."®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.