Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:53 pm Post subject: Google ‘caught’ capturing data
Pressure continues to mount on Google over wi-fi data capture from a number of fronts.
The US Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it has launched a probe into Google’s actions, in response to a request from the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. The office of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has also launched an investigation into the collection of the wi-fi data.
Most importantly, German authorities have been pestering Google to hand over a hard disk of wi-fi data that ‘Google Street View’ cars gathered ‘by mistake’.
Pressure to make the data available has been increased by the German regional Information Commissioner that started the inquiry. In a statement, Dr Johannes Caspar said he expected Google to “continue on the path of co-operation and transparency”. However, Google primarily refused to hand over the hard disk of data, amid concerns that it may be breaching German telecommunication law by doing so.
But Dr Caspar told the BBC last week: “I have asked the General Prosecutor in Hamburg whether Google would face problems in giving us the material, and he told us that this would not be a problem.”
The concern - data privacy and security, both for the State as well as the individual. True, Google services make life easier. but how do we ensure that there are ‘no strings attached’? Would you value information privacy over value added services, or vice versa?
Please state on how such matters can be regulated at the international level. Comments appreciated, with rationale.
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