Wider European Scrutiny of Google on Privacy

In a sign that Europe is taking an increasingly unified line on Internet privacy, six European countries have joined Germany in asking Google to preserve data it improperly collected from unsecured wireless networks as part of Street View, its photo-mapping service, the company said Friday.The growing number of requests by the European countries, and Hong Kong, raised the possibility that Google might be required to disclose for the first time exactly what its employees collected in 33 countries while compiling Street View. And that in turn increased the likelihood that Google, the world’s largest search engine company, could face fines or other penalties.The company said Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland had asked it to retain the data collected from their citizens.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/technology/22streetview.htmlAlso see:EU countries probe Google data breach
Google is starting to feel the heat in Europe as several countries launch probes and demand more details about the companies’ street-mapping technology, after it emerged that the application had inadvertently collected people’s private information.German prosecutors were the first to raise the alarm after its audit of Google’s Street View application revealed Google’s data centres had collected payload data – emails, video, audio and VoIP information – being sent over the network by users.

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