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Authorities Move Toward Google Investigation

ONLINE PRIVACY

May 18, 2010

Privacy authorities from across the globe may investigate Google following the disclosure that it gathered personal data while using its Street View vehicles in an attempt to collect WiFi addresses for improved service, the Financial Times reports. Peter Schaar, Germany's data protection commissioner, is calling for a "detailed probe" into what one privacy expert said could be "one of the most massive surveillance incidents by a private corporation that has ever occurred." A complaint has been filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and Google has deleted data gathered in Ireland at the request of the Data Protection Authority. Privacy commissioners in Australia and Hong Kong are also voicing concerns over the company's access to personal information. "We didn't want to collect this data in the first place," a Google spokesman said, "and we would like to destroy it as soon as possible."
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