Google got another slap on the wrist this week, this time from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office which found the company’s Street View cars did in fact violate privacy laws as they collected citizens’ personal information while mapping and photographing the country.
As eSecurity Planet reports, Google will now be subject to an audit of its data-collection and privacy procedures by UK regulators going forward.
Google officials said the unsanctioned and unintentional snooping was the result of experimental software that it included in its camera-equipped Street View cars that was originally designed to collect data about Wi-Fi access points in order to improve the company’s location-based services.
Regulators in the United Kingdom followed the lead of the Federal Trade Commission this week, announcing that while Google did violate national data protection laws it will not be fined for illegally collecting citizens’ personal information with its controversial Street View cars.
The decision delivered today by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office will require Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to submit its data protection policies for a regulatory audit.
“It is my view that the collection of this information was not fair or lawful and constitutes a significant breach of the first principle of the Data Protection Act,” UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said in a statement.