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Google ordered to delete 'Street View' data in Britain

British data watchdog group orders Google to delete personal data on the company's Street View project. 

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Information Commissioner's Office gave Google 35 days to kill material captured in the company's Street View project that featured camera-toting vehicles shooting images of the world's streets.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

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Britain's data regulator Friday ordered Internet giant Google to delete personal data scooped up in its Street View project — or face a contempt of court action.

The Information Commissioner's Office served Google Inc. with an enforcement notice, giving it 35 days to kill material captured in the project that featured camera-toting vehicles shooting images of the world's streets.

To make sense of the pictures, Google had to be able to place precisely where the properties being photographed were located. Using a computer program, the vehicles taking the images used local Wi-Fi outlets to place the properties, and in doing so, collected snippets of data from the Wi-Fi networks.

 

The disclosure angered Internet users when it was first revealed in 2010, and Britain was one of several countries that launched inquiries. But it accepted Google's explanation that it had destroyed the material.

But last year, Google acknowledged that a handful of the discs had been discovered and the regulator promptly re-opened the investigation. US authorities raised concerns about the engineer who created the software.

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