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back to article Google gets gentle Street View slurp slap from UK data cops

Google has escaped a fine from the UK Information Commissioner's Office, after the watchdog concluded its investigation into the company's controversial Street View cars that slurped payload data from unencrypted wireless networks. The ICO has ordered Google to destroy all Wi-Fi payload data that its vehicles collected. The …

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Good Grief

Sounds like a sane and sensible decision to me. What's going on?

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Devil

Won't somebody please think of the children??

Waiting for the outcry. Google must be guilty!

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FAIL

"The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

So why do you still have it?

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Big Brother

Re: "The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

in case someone else wants it ?

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Re: "The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

Or, possibly told not to destroy it (but not use it) until the investigation was over?

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Re: "So why do you still have it?"

Because every government entity that could coopt the press forbid the spotted G from touching anything until the greatest amount of PR about 'investigations' and 'scrutiny' and 'protection' and 'concern' could be extracted from a non-governmental goof.

A year it took. Was the emphasis ever on the data, or on the PR that could be gained?

I'd ask this of the continuously fulminating commentards: which really looks worse in this debacle, the public G or the private G?

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Re: "The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

Because they were told not to destroy any evidence, including the data itself, until the investigation. was completed.

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Anonymous Coward

More stalling. It should have been Deleted ages ago. Why is the G-man dragging its feet?

....Theories anybody? It won't be long now before someone starts posting about how they don't care, and don't see what the fuss is all about. Well its this. The fact that Google deliberately lied about how and why they collected the data s disturbing. They tried to blame it on a lone rogue programmer. But then we learned that there was an entire team assigned to this, and that they wanted the slurp the data for competitive business reasons, the specifics of which are unknown to us....

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Re: More stalling. It should have been Deleted ages ago. Why is the G-man dragging its feet?

The fact is that anyone who wants to expend resources on slurping WiFi base station info can, there's nothing stopping them. Just put the right kit in the boot and drive round all the UK's roads for the next millenia and hey presto. In between times folks chuck out kit and the map end up looking moth eaten. Of course it's the principle of the matter that someone like Google has the resources to slurp it, process and then keep us all guessing why? I think we have a lot more to fear about the smart phone in our pockets, out smarting us and allowing uncle Sam, GCHQ and the Missus to know where we are at all times. My neighbour gets all jittery about Google sat view on maps showing his un-planned walled garden and expects the town hall snoops to swoop in any time soon and tell him to go drain is pond. Fact is every tool has both good and evil uses!

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Anonymous Coward

Now how about some press coverage of Microsoft's streetview project

Of course nobody knows about that, as nobody mentions it....

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I wonder how Google are going to go about proving that the data has actually been deleted?

I'm not for a minute suggesting that they might squirrel it away on a server in the US or whatever - but what form of evidence are they supposed to offer the ICO that proves the deletion? This is data after all, easy to duplicate by its very nature.

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Anonymous Coward

They'll need to delete it, destroy backups etc.

I'm curious as to what they collected, any links to that? to allay fears perhaps they could show a redacted version (i.e. no IP addys, no SSID names..)

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Coat

Maybe the ICO will do a google search for it

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Anonymous Coward

They have all data.

You may as well just assume Google has all your data about everything these days.

We were surprised to find the other day that google backs up your WIFI settings to its own cloud, so when you get a new android device it can grab all the passwords automatically.

'course even the ICO uses Google Analytics on its website, almost everything does, so Big G can already correlate pretty much everything you do on the net, whether you use their services directly or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They have all data.

"We were surprised to find the other day that google backs up your WIFI settings to its own cloud, so when you get a new android device it can grab all the passwords automatically."

You mean *you* were surprised because you didn't read what you were ticking?

http://tips4droid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Backup-Calender-settings-bookmarks-app-data-contacts.png

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you didn't read what you were ticking

Not sure that I read it either, but I was pleasantly surprised when all my settings and applications were restored after flashing a new ROM on my phone. Yes, I now know where the "Backup my blah blah..." option is, and I know how useful it can be.

The downside to all this, the downside, in fact to Android, is that Everything Is Known To Google.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They have all data.

>> You mean *you* were surprised because you didn't read what you were ticking?

No, I was surprised because it seemed like a security flaw.

I don't know if the individual in question specifically ticked to allow this, but he was surprised when it happened. I personally just think it's a bit much to do automatically. Especially when we're talking about the same company now in trouble over too much wifi sniffing.

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Anonymous Coward

Translation

Can we not have an automatic Google PRISM-companies translator?

The Information Commissioner said "I've just come from a meeting in Cheltenham, where it was explained to me that (fumbles in pocket for piece of paper...) Google could not possibly have done anything wrong. I would also like to thank the police for helping Google with their enquiries."

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FAIL

I suspect that it will be impossible to delete this data ...

Even if it was only one column in a database, you would still have to locate, restore delete and re-backup those old databases. And that's before we consider the possibility that the data might be in key-related tables which need to be present for the database to work ....

There needs to be some ISO standard for what to do in these instances ... maybe *replacing* the data with zeros, or spaces, or whatever is needed ...

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Mountain View told The Register that the company "works hard to get privacy right".

Yes. For them. Everybody else is up a certain creek without a paddle...

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Handy having all those buddies in power

Wot wot

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Happy

them vs them

Google drives around the country recording the odd bit of WiFi data that folks broadcast while GCHQ and the NSA record everything ... Google get a slap on the wrist. I guess the ICO will be looking into the NSA and GCHQ next?

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