Google Told to Delete Illegally Obtained Data or Face Criminal Charges
GOOGLE TOLD TO DELETE ILLEGALLY OBTAINED DATA OR FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES – British authorities have demanded Google delete the data it illegally harvested during its Street View project in the United Kingdom.
During the project it was uncovered that Google had been illegally gathering emails, text messages, photographs and documents from millions of British internet users.
In 2010 the Information Commissioner (ICO) heavily criticized Google over failing to ensure that its Street View project did not infringe upon the rights of privacy after discovering Google had used WiFi connections to break into private computers and download vast amounts of private information.
Google quickly announced at the time that this was due to a fault with software however skeptics voiced their views that Google knew exactly what it was doing and was collecting the data for commercial purposes.
Despite the ICO’s findings and forcing Google to delete all the illegally harvested data it has now been discovered that Google had overlooked a number of hard drives containing personal data and the ICO has not issued Google with a formal notice to destroy the hard drives or face legal action.
The ICO commented that they expect Google to comply with the order but any failure to do so will result in criminal charges being filed.
This is not the first time Google has faced criminal charges over the Street View project. Both the U.S and France levied heavy fines on Google after they discovered the illegal harvesting of the personal data. The UK however simply slapped Google on the wrist and they quickly complied to destroy all the data; albeit the few hard drives that Google report as ‘accidentally’ missing.
Google now has 35 days in which to provide certification of proof that the hard drives have been destroyed and that no further private data is being held without express permission.
Do you think Google should have been fined as they were in the U.S and France? Please leave your comments below.