Federal Communications Commission report prompts privacy watchdog to investigate if the search giant misled it over collection of private information
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has re-opened its investigation into Street View data collection after new information about the company's claims came to light.
The privacy watchdog said it was now concerned that the data was captured deliberately instead of in error. It came to this conclusion after the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report found that Google had "deliberately impeded and delayed" its investigations.
The FCC also pointed out one of Google's engineers was aware of the data-capture element of the project.
In a letter sent by the ICO to Google asking it to provide it with further information it said: "It therefore seems likely that such information was deliberately captured during the GSV [Google Street View] operations conducted in the UK."
The ICO added: "However, during the course of our investigation we were specifically told by Google that it was a simple mistake. If the data was collected deliberately it is clear this is a different situation than was reported to us in April 2010."
In a statement Google said: We're happy to answer the ICO's questions. We have always said that the project leaders did not want and did not use this payload data. Indeed, they never even looked at it."
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