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Google Privacy United Kingdom

UK Regulator Did Not Check Google Privacy Claims 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-their-word-for-it dept.
judgecorp writes "When Google gathered personal Wi-Fi data through its Street View cars, the UK privacy watchdog, the ICO did not press charges, saying that Google had "contained" the data in "quarantined cages". It has now been revealed that the ICO never checked this assertion. It just took Google's word for it, and never visited Google to try and check on whether the data actually was contained. From TechWeekEurope's correspondence with the ICO it seems that the regulator had a team of three looking into the Google Wi-Fi data scandal. Seeing that it was impossible to check Google's claims in depth, the ICO decided to just take Google's word it had done what it claimed."
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UK Regulator Did Not Check Google Privacy Claims

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  • by auric_dude (610172) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @08:36AM (#44341703)
    • by UpnAtom (551727)

      Spot on. Blair deliberately underfunded ICO as it was a bit of an obstacle in his attempted creation of a New World Order.

      The current lot came in with a 12pc deficit to narrow and no great desire to be held to account either.

  • Damn guys (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @08:40AM (#44341725)

    That's downright Canadian.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Yeah...it actually is. See the cases of the CRTC vs Rogers and Bell. And doing things like throttling connections, or happily bending over backwards for Usage Based Billing(UBB) against TPIA's(third party internet providers.)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google are smart enough now to know how to give the UK government a hard time if they give them a hard time.

  • with Google's G+ forced migration, but I can't think of anything they have lied about and they have basically always told me what they would do when I opted to use their services. And I don't know of any blatant misrepresentation they have ever made. What other top tier company can this be said about?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem isn't what they tell you, it's what they don't tell you - or rather the details behind the "terms of use" that you agree to.

      Who are all of Google's partners with whom it shares its data? And what relationship do they have with other entities?

      If Google considered the NSA as one of its partners with whom it shares data, where does that leave you now? Or what if one of said companies is a proxy for dealing with the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc?

      Ask yourself this question: do you fully understand the implicati

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Did you understand what that change of privacy actually did?

      You visit a site, it has Doubleclick on it, Google sets a tracking cookie and profiles your browser, and notes the IP. Maybe it has use Google analytics, so analytics does the same. Maybe you visit a Google Gmail account, so Gmail does the same, maybe you use Maps with 'maps can access my position' on and Maps does the same plus it gets your GPS location . Maybe you use an Android device with the Google pack, lots of lovely data on you heads off t

    • What? Google is the last company I'd trust to be honest with me. They stored every search term I put into the Google search box for years without telling me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Various schools in the country were rolling out fingerprint readers to replace cash to pay for school meals. This itself is questionable, but it gets worse: When parents objected, the ICO said, I kid you not, that the parents had no say because it was "a matter between the pupils and the school". So much for parents having parental oversight over their children.

    This theme oozes through the UK government (like how every internet connection will have a porn filter on it by default, unless you admit to being a

  • by tonywestonuk (261622) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @09:22AM (#44341985)

    "Seeing that it was impossible to check Google's claims in depth, the ICO decided to just take Google's word it had done what it claimed."

    Well, yeh. It only take a memory stick full of WIFI data to be stuck in the back of a draw, or in someone's pocket. What's the ICO gonna do? Strip search all employees?

    Googles word for it, is the best they can do.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      "Seeing that it was impossible to check Google's claims in depth, the ICO decided to just take Google's word it had done what it claimed."

      Well, yeh. It only take a memory stick full of WIFI data to be stuck in the back of a draw, or in someone's pocket. What's the ICO gonna do? Strip search all employees?

      Googles word for it, is the best they can do.

      Yeah, I really don't understand what other choice they had. Even if they did a site visit and someone pointed to a hard drive locked in a safe and said "Here's the data, locked up securely, Sergey is the only one with the key to the safe and he wears it around his neck", what is the ICO supposed to do? Audit every single storage device Google owns to see if there's another copy of the data somewhere?

      It's not even clear what they mean by "quarantined cages", are they talking about physical cages, or some log

    • Since it was already clear that Google committed a grave felony, it was up to Google to prove beyond a doubt that they deleted all data. If Google was not able to do that, they should have been fined a large sum of money for every day they would remain unable to submit proof. It may cost Google millions to prove it, but hey, that's the risk they took and they will have to pay to make things right again.

      Google was already proven guilty. It was no longer the legal burden of the ICO to prove anything. It was a

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      They could demand that Google employs an external data destruction specialist to audit their work. They could fine them for not keeping control of the data if it turns out someone could have copied it onto a memory stick.

  • This is one of those things that makes you wonder why governments regulate at all? They pass a law, set up a shill bureaucratic organization to monitor things and then allow those entities being regulated to "self report" or the folks assigned never really do their jobs. Eventually something happens, oh say like something innocuous like bundling home mortgages into securities and the next thing you know the economy is on the skids because the securities were insured by other parties and then you have a hu

  • UK is a leading country for CCTV camera ownership. GCHQ had been spying on citizens using data from NSA's PRISM program. I really wonder why they even bother with creating ICO. It is just bureaucracy.

  • What's the big deal? They collected random Wi-Fi data. Obviously the data they collected was from open Wi-Fi access points. If you leave an access point open, that's an invitation to connect. If that I'd illegal, then the law is unrealistic and needs to be modified. Further, the traffic they collected was little bits of random stuff from lots of different places. Maybe they got 100 packets from your router - and then? What? Nothing, that's what. Your packets should be encrypted by ssl or similar if y

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