Google deletes private data in Ireland; a complaint filed in U.S.
Google said Monday afternoon that upon the request of Ireland's Data Protection Authority, it has deleted private data it collected as part of its Street View application.
In a blog post, the company said that it deleted that information over the weekend in the presence of an independent third party. Google said it is also reaching out to other nations where it also collected data.
The controversy over Google's data collection stems from its announcement Friday that it inadvertently collected private data off of unprotected, or unencrypted, Wi-Fi networks at homes while compiling photos for location-based services.
German officials blasted Google, saying the practice, even if in error, was illegal. California-based Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation on how the practice affected consumers.
"We are reaching out to Data Protection Authorities in the other relevant countries about how to dispose of the remaining data as quickly as possible," wrote Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research at Google.
I asked Google whether any nations have requested the company retain data, if only temporarily, to determine what kind of information the search giant collects.
A spokesperson said it is in ongoing discussion with regulators and couldn't comment on what has been discussed. It's unclear how widespread the data collection was. Street View is used in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and in several European countries.
May 18, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: FTC , Google , Privacy
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