Google is once again under investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK as data captured by the company’s Street View vehicles is said to have been deliberately obtained.
An issue that has globally followed the internet giant in recent years, the ICO previously dropped the case surrounding the unapproved collection of data suggesting it had been “mistakenly collected.” The case has now been reopened following findings in the US investigation carried out by the Federal Communications Commission.
In a letter to Google requesting more information on the matter, the ICO has highlighted the FCC’s findings that claimed the captured data included "complete email messages, email headings, instant messages and their content, logging-in credentials, medical listings and legal infractions, information in relation to online dating and visits to pornographic sites.”
In light of this new information, the Commissioner’s Office, which is looking to determine what type of data was captured, when key managers at the company were made aware of the situation and why the full selection of captured data was not represented in a sample the firm presented to it in 2010, has suggested “It therefore seems likely such information was deliberately captured during the Google Street View operations conducted in the UK."
Responding to the latest probe from the Information Commissioner’s Office, a Google spokesperson has said: "We're happy to answer the ICO's questions. We have always said that the project leaders did not want and did not use this payload data. Indeed, they never even looked at it."
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