UK privacy watchdog orders search giant to hand the data over for forensic analysis, warning it could be in breach of Data Protection laws
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has ordered Google to hand over the remaining data that it collected through its Street View project.
Responding to the ongoing investigation being undertaken by the ICO into what data the search giant gathered unlawfully, Google today admitted that although all the data should have been deleted in December 2010, it still had some in its possession.
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In a letter to the privacy watchdog, it asked the ICO how it should delete the data but has been told that it must hand over the information immediately so it can be analysed.
In a statement the ICO said: "Earlier today Google contacted the ICO to confirm that it still had in its possession some of the payload data collected by its Street View vehicles prior to May 2010.
"This data was supposed to have been deleted in December 2010. The fact that some of this information still exists appears to breach the undertaking to the ICO signed by Google in November 2010.
"In their letter to the ICO today, Google indicated that they wanted to delete the remaining data and asked for the ICO's instructions on how to proceed.
"Our response, which has already been issued, makes clear that Google must supply the data to the ICO immediately, so that we can subject it to forensic analysis before deciding on the necessary course of action."
The ICO reopened its investigation into the Street View data gathering in June this year after the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report found that Google had "deliberately impeded and delayed" its investigations.
The privacy watchdog said it was concerned that the data had been captured deliberately instead of in error.
An ICO representative also warned that it was now in touch with other data protection organisations.
The representative said: "We are also in touch with other data protection authorities in the EU and elsewhere through the Article 29 Working Party and the GPEN network to coordinate the response to this development.
"The ICO is clear that this information should never have been collected in the first place and the company's failure to secure its deletion as promised is cause for concern."
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