Digital Transformation

Google ‘hasn’t deleted’ private data collected by Street View

Internet giant tells ICO that it still hasn’t disposed of data obtained by its Street View initiative

Google sparked controversy in 2010 after the internet giant revealed it accidentally obtained personal details from people’s homes when compiling images of residential roads for its Street View service – and it turns out that the organisation may still be breaching data protection regulations as a result of the incident.

According to a statement released by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Google’s latest communication explained that it is has not yet disposed of all of the data that it collated, and this contravenes the organisation’s previous agreement with the ICO to delete the files.

"Earlier today (27th July) 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," said an ICO spokesperson.

"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."

Despite the emphasis on ensuring that the public’s confidential details remain protected when they’re operating online, it appears that one of the internet’s biggest names has failed to fulfil its promise to dispose of the information that it may have illegally collected from people’s homes.

While there is no evidence that the incident has directly resulted in private details being exposed to thieves, it is the fact that Google obtained the data without people’s knowledge that led to the controversy.

But it’s important to remember that there are a wide range of laws governing the protection of personal data, and companies are also required to take the necessary security measures to ensure any details they store are not compromised.

From backing up files online to encrypting documents and using password protection, businesses can take a variety of steps to effectively secure their data.