Aug 122010
 
 August 12, 2010  Non-U.S., Online

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said:

“The Information Commissioner is taking a responsible and proportionate approach to this case. Unlike some privacy commissioners abroad the Information Commissioner has no responsibility for enforcing the law on interception of communications. In the UK this is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which is the main law Google StreetView is being accused of having broken. The fragments of data from unsecured WiFi routers do not, so far as we can see, amount to a resource of personal data.

The ICO has visited Google’s premises to assess samples of the ‘pay-load’ data it inadvertently collected. Whilst Google considered it unlikely that it had collected anything other than fragments of content, we wanted to make our own judgement as to the likelihood that significant personal data had been retained and, if so, the extent of any intrusion. The information we saw does not include meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person. As we have only seen samples of the records collected in the UK we recognise that other data protection authorities conducting a detailed analysis of all the payload data collected in their jurisdictions may nevertheless find samples of information which can be linked to identifiable individuals. However, on the basis of the samples we saw we are satisfied so far that it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data. There is also no evidence as yet that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment. Nevertheless it was wrong to collect the information. We remain vigilant and will be reviewing our own findings together with relevant findings and evidence from our international counterparts’ investigations. In the light of this we will decide what, if any further action to take. The case has not been closed”

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