Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/23/google_police/

Scotland Yard mulls Google Wi-Fi slurp

Privacy International alleges RIPA offence

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Law, 23rd June 2010 13:47 GMT

Police are considering whether to investigate Google's Wi-Fi data harvesting operation.

The Met received a complaint from Privacy International but has not yet decided whether to formally launch an investigation, a police spokesman said today. Officers may speak to Google staff before making a decision.

The pressure group alleges that Google carried out illegal interception of communications, a criminal offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Google has admitted its Street View fleet collected and stored payload data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks as it toured the country. It has called the operation a "mistake" and blamed it on software created by a rogue engineer against internal policy.

Nevertheless the dominant search firm is now under scrutiny by criminal and civil authorities in dozens of US states and European countries. ®