Regulators in the USA have ended their inquiry of the data grab by Google’s Street View cars. Today the FCT Federal Trade Commission stated in a letter to Google that it was officially ending its inquiry with no penalties whatsoever. The FTC made sure to note that Google’s appointing of a director of privacy for engineering and product management plus training of empoyees on privacy and building a formal privacy review were good, and that they’d have cookies and milk at a tea party thrown just for them.*
*I may have made the tea party bit up, but the inquiry is over, that’s the real word. Because of Google’s announcement last Friday on Street View cars accidentally capturing personal data, things like emails and passwords, the US regulators (along with regulators from around the world) began inquiries to see how terrible the situation really was. But Google assured the FTC that the info collected was not used, and they assured them it would not be used.
“Because of these commitments, we are ending our inquiry into this matter at this time,” wrote David Vladek, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. And that’s how the US inquiry ended. Regulators in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Britain continue their investigation. The info these cars were collecting, the info in question, was personal data collected inadvertently by these cars that were supposed to only be collecting public info from unprotected wifi networks. Google says now that the cars no longer collect any type of wireless information. ITALY, GERMANY, FRANCE! You’ve got to make sure!