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Google in 'significant breach' of UK Data Protection Laws

 1:05 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google in 'significant breach' of UK Data Protection Laws [bbc.co.uk]
There was a "significant breach" of the Data Protection Act when Google collected personal data via its Street View cars, the UK's Information Commissioner has ruled.

But Google will not face a fine or any punishment, Christopher Graham added.

Instead, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will audit Google's data protection practices.

The move marks a U-turn for the ICO which originally ruled that no data breach had occurred.



 1:33 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

There was also a back bench debate on this last week.


I find it hard to believe that a company with the creative genius and originality of Google could map the personal wi-fi details, computer passwords and e-mail addresses of millions of people across the world and not know what it was doing”

Robert Halfon Conservative MP


 2:50 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree. I have never for one moment believed Google's story about the collection of data being accidental. I'm a programmer and I've made all sorts of mistakes over the years, but that is simply not a credible explanation.



 4:52 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wrote this post and it accidentally scanned all of your email addresses. I took a screenshot of what happened and my camera software opened your emails and read them too, it happens.

Not only do very few believe google's excuse but Google is well known for going too far the world over. That tends to happen when you proclaim that you know what people want before they do.


 5:21 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google's accidental data collection is as farcical as Charlie Sheen's "allergic reaction".

Problem is, most countries' legal enforcers don't have the nutmegs to rake them out for it. Will the UK step up?


 3:49 am on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

google is simply testing and pushing the legal limits - with success most of the time, as the respective country legislations don't seem to be interconnected or ready enough to tackle the legal internet issues google et al are raising.

imo the uk would be the last one to step up. a country where it is perfectly okay to freely promote the respective commercial social networks over every media channel, be it private or public, as if there's nothing to it.

have you seen the submissive webcam conversation from this year with prime minister david cameron and mark zuckerberg? question: who of the two is the higher-ranking and who is the brown-nose? google the youtube result for "cameron zuckerberg". the video really says it all. hilarious!


 9:27 am on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

"will the UK step up" - you must be kidding - theres no oil involved - why would we give a s***?


 12:57 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Canada recently pushed back against Facebook's privacy issues, and won. source [cbc.ca] If not the UK, will it be Canada that takes Google to task for this violation?


 9:51 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whats to stop UK data subjects from suing Google for this ? The ICO is a waste of time, its only there to protect all the public sector projects


 11:41 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whats to stop UK data subjects from suing Google for this?

Firstly, individual UK subjects don't know if they are victims or not.
Secondly, evidence of loss is required. That loss can be financial, emotional, whatever, but evidence of loss is required otherwise the case will be thrown out immediately.

I believe there have been instances of private prosecutions being brought for breaches of criminal law (i.e. no evidence of loss is required) but even if found guilty no sentence can be passed so it is entirely symbolic.



 7:10 pm on Nov 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is a huge financial and emotioanl cost to having to change email addresses and passwords if you suspect they may have been compromised.

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