Ireland has strange Regulators, as we have learned. For example, what is the Irish Data Protection Commissioner doing about the Google “Street View” scandal?
The scandal involved the deliberate collection, by Google, of wi-fi data, through its Street View vehicles. Google Street View is part of Google Maps and Google Earth. It uses adapted vehicles (mostly cars) to travel through public locations in at least thirty countries in the world. The vehicles have cameras to record a 360 degree view of each location.
I saw one in Dublin in August.
While it was using the vehicles as a camera platform, Google also used them to secretly collect data passing over wireless networks. That data would be all, or part, of emails, passwords, videos, audio files, documents and network names.
Seemingly, German privacy authorities discovered this Google secret early in 2010 and launched an investigation. A proper investigation would require that the evidence be preserved, would it not? Here’s what Google put up on its website:
“On Friday May 14 the Irish Data Protection Authority asked us to delete the payload data we collected in error in Ireland. We can confirm that all data identified as being from Ireland was deleted over the weekend in the presence of an independent third party. We are reaching out to Data Protection Authorities in the other relevant countries about how to dispose of the remaining data as quickly as possible.”
This was more than the Data Protection Commissioner told us. In fact he told us nothing of the issue. HERE‘s his website.
Google’s reference to the data being “…collected in error…” was disingenuous. The data was collected calculatedly.
Bank robbery is irresistible if the only sanction is that you have to give the money back if you are caught.
Did we actually get our money back?