Google denies Street View data manipulation
Google has stated that it has not manipulated data submitted to the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in an earlier investigation. ICO had re-opened its investigation into Google's data collection practices for Street View and had asked Google to provide the "raw data", claiming that Google had "pre-prepared" the files it had made available earlier.
In Google's response, the company's global privacy counsel says that the only change it has made to the hard drive in question was to mount it and use a program to translate its contents from binary to a human readable format, as it was asked to do by the ICO officials. Answering questions as to what kind of data was collected by its Street View cars in the UK, Google says it can not tell as it did not analyse the data before deleting it at the request of the ICO. Instead, the company refers the agency to information published by privacy investigators from other countries in order to find out how much personal data was actually collected.
Google has admitted to having neglected several red flags in handling the data in question and has said that it has instituted procedural changes and training programs to prevent anything like it from occurring in the future. It also said it is "profoundly sorry for having collected payload data from unencrypted networks" in this manner but that it had and will continue to give its best in complying with any investigation into the matter.
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