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UK ICO Advice to Google

It was the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a UK-based regulator of privacy, who demanded for the removal of the pieces of confidential information gathered by the web giant Google via Wi-Fi from different groups such as homes and businesses.

Different forms of information were collected

The large web company came clean just a week ago on the truth that they have in their hands “pay-load” data. According to Google, the kinds of private information that they have gathered involved the following: MAC addresses, Wi-Fi network names, and the bits of information that were being transmitted via different networks.
In defense, Google stated that these data were actually accidentally drawn in the year 2008. It happened during the time when their vans were in the process of collecting data for the company’s Street View service.

No investigation will be carried out

As stated by the ICO, they will not longer delve deeper in this event of data gathering. However, they request that Google immediately delete all the private data that they are currently storing. Additionally, the UK private regulators do not see any relevance in the motive of keeping the said data that they unintentionally gathered.
The same procedure was done by the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland just a week ago. And, in response to this demand, Google removed all the amassed Wi-Fi data without any delay.

Legal actions should still be considered

But then, Privacy International disapproved the actions undertaken by the UK privacy watchdog ICO. According to this group, the regulator should have promised a thorough examination of the incident rather than just letting it all pass by having the web giant remove all the Wi-Fi data they have. Privacy International deems this as a form of helping criminals in wiping out the remains of the evidence.
The group wrote a letter addressed to ICO and they called for the agency to withdraw their previous instructions. The private data should be kept by another reliable organization until in-depth investigation has been done.
There is a great possibility that a civil or criminal legal action will be taken against the web giant due to the occurrence of the Wi-Fi interception. And, destroying the confidential information that they have will appear as destruction of proofs.
Until now, the web company still has not released any statement if they would push through with deleting of the Wi-Fi data in UK, which is how exactly they handled the situation in Ireland.

 

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