French Privacy Watchdog Calls for Google Wi-Spy Data

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CNIL demands that Google hands over the Street View data it hasn’t deleted

France’s privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de L’informatique et Des Libertes (CNIL), has joined the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in calling for the Wi-Spy data that Google admitted not deleting.

CNIL said that Google informed several European privacy agencies last week that it still had some of the data that its Street View cars acquired from private wireless networks in 2010.

It fined Google €100,000 (£79,000) in March 2011 and the search giant informed CNIL that it had proceeded to delete the data in June of that year.

Google Wi-Spy data

CNIL has previously expressed its concerns about Google’s new privacy policy and called for talks to determine whether or not it violated European law.

Google wrote to the ICO last week admitting the error and said that it was fully committed to working with the watchdog. It asked for guidance from the ICO, which responded by calling for the delivery of the data immediately, calling it a “cause for concern” and suggesting that Google’s failure to delete it could be a breach of the undertaking it signed in November 2010.

The ICO re-opened its investigation into the Wi-Fi slurping case in June after the US Federal Communications Commission found that not only did the engineer who created the code inform colleagues what he was doing, but also that the Street View cars collected more data than previously thought.

Google first admitted that it had collected the personal information in 2010, but the ICO initially cleared the company in July 2010, concluding that the data was free of any “meaningful details.”

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