Google now faces a possible breach of contract after admitting on Friday that private information from unprotected Wi-Fi networks taken by their street view cars have not yet been erased due to human error, even after being ordered to do so by the Information Commission Office in October 2010.
On May of the same year, Google said that its Street View cars unintentionally collected private data as they got shots of private residences and historical sites around the world for their application, Google Earth.
The exact nature of this private information is unknown, but US inspectors suspect medical and web browsing histories are among the data.
On Friday, the Information Commission Office (ICO) said that the data storing is a possible violation of the contract inked between Google and the ICO 2 months after being ordered to delete the said information.
According to a representative, they would conduct a legal examination of the data, exacting Google up to £500,000 if found to be violating the Data Protection Act.
“We now have an opportunity to explore just how sensitive the information was.” says Nick Pickles, the privacy director of the group Big Brother Watch, also saying that Google should not have been directed to wipe out the information at all. He also states that Google has to be interrogated to understand why they do not seem to abide the law.
Also, according to him, insufficient power restricts the information commission from doing their task, forcing them to simply trust corporations and/or groups. Google’s behavior has cast doubt if there truly is a way to guard personal data.
He also says that it would now be appropriate to appeal for a proper commission with the authority and punishments to be able to protect the right to privacy of the British People.