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Now French watchdog wants to look at Google's slurped Wi-Fi data

CNIL follows ICO in demanding to inspect info before it is destroyed

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Google has been ordered by France's Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) to hand over payload data retained on the company's system that its Street View spycars slurped from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

The demand follows Google's confession to Britain's Information Commissioner last week that it still had "in its possession a small portion of payload data collected by our Street View vehicles in the UK".

Mountain View described that retention as an "error" and said sorry for the apparent oversight.

It's understood that 11 data protection authorities in Europe received a missive from Google explaining that it still had the slurped data on its servers.

Now CNIL has fallen into step with the UK's ICO by telling Google it wanted to inspect the data before the company destroys it.

The French watchdog had, in March 2011, fined Google €100,000 for collecting the information, which included emails and passwords from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

But in the UK, regulators were less stringent. The ICO ping-ponged its investigation back and forth by first taking no action – having initially claimed that the data collected was benign – before reopening the probe after authorities in other parts of Europe as well as in the US came down much more heavily on Google. ®

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