Google’s accidental collection of consumers’ private data recently came under scrutiny. But though the UK’s privacy watchdog has said Google broke the country’s data laws, the search engine will go unpunished.
Just as almost two-hundred Quangos and other government-established bodies are facing the chop, you would have thought that the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) would seize on the opportunity to show that it’s no toothless tiger.
Things started out badly – the ICO was forced to perform a u-turn on its previous decision. But today it finally confirmed that Google’s collection of personal data via its Street View cars was a ‘significant breach’ of the Data Protection Act. Was the ICO actually going to stick its claws into Google for invading our privacy? Err, no. In fact, it barely slapped it on the wrist.
No fine was imposed. And furthermore, the world’s biggest and richest search engine won’t face any punishment at all. Google said sorry, and that’s good enough, apparently.
Google’s ogling goes unpunished
As it is, all the ICO plans to do is look into Google’s practices. Great, so until the ICO conducts its audit, there’s little to boost the confidence of the millions of us who’s emails, wi-fi addresses and passwords were scooped up as the cars passed Wi-Fi hotspots. Nor does this encourage us that a similar future ‘mistake’ won’t be made.
Do you think the ICO was right not to punish Google, or do you think the search engine should have been taken to task?