How Google's managed to escape a fine over its gobbling of Wi-Fi data by its fleet of Street View cars in the UK, I have no idea. But the Information Commissioner's Office has given the search giant 35 days to eradicate all traces of the amassed data or face criminal charges.
The ICO investigation, which re-opened back in July 2012 after Google admitted to still being in possession of the information, concluded that, although it was a procedural cock-up (not a glitch in some machine), it wasn't mandated from the top, and that the search giant didn't set out to collect the data from the off. Google also seemingly managed to convince the Commissioner that the large amounts of personal data it collected never made it to the outside world, and was contained within its corporate servers. Whether that makes you feel better or not, is another question.
Google's also been warned that the ICO will be keeping a beady-eye on goings on hence forth, and "will not hesitate to take action if further serious compliance issues come to its attention". Let's hope if anything else happens ICO's response won't be quite so pally-pally and more punishment-stick driven. [The Register]
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