In 2010, Google admitted that in the UK and a number of other European countries, it was collecting data from open WiFi networks via its Street View cars; Google promised to delete the information that was collected. Now, the company has admitted this action was not done after all.
The Telegraph reports that Google, in a statement sent to the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, said, "Google has recently confirmed that it still has in its possession a small portion of payload data collected by our Street View vehicles in the UK. Google apologizes for this error."
Google has also kept the Street View WiFi data from Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. The company said it is now informing the governments of all these countries about this issue.
Google did not give a specific reason as to why the Street View data was kept. It says that before it deletes the data, it wanted to get some information from the ICO before it proceeds. The ICO statement about this latest incident says, "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."
Source: The Telegraph