ICO Re-opens the Case into Street View Data Gathering

Following an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has today has asked for more information from Google regarding the gathering of personal data by its Street View cars. The ICO, in a letter to Google stated that personal information such as complete email messages, instant messages and their content, medical listings and legal infractions “was deliberately captured during the Google Street View operations conducted in the UK”.

The letter lists a number of areas that it wanted clarification on from Google. Specifically:

  • what type of data was captured;
  • when Google managers became aware of the issue;
  • how the news was managed and;
  • why the full range of gathered data was not represented in a sample the firm presented to it in 2010.

The ICO has also requested a certificate to show that the data had since been destroyed.

In response, Google has released a dismissive comment by email to the effect that, “the project leaders did not want and did not use this payload data. Indeed, they never even looked at it”.



The ICOMP Secretariat