'Google collected private data from Spanish Wi-Fi networks' | business | Hindustan Times
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'Google collected private data from Spanish Wi-Fi networks'

business Updated: Jun 14, 2010 11:04 IST

IANS
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Google has "illegally" collected private data from Wi-Fi networks in Spain through its Street View project, a crime prevention association said on Sunday.

A complaint has been filed against Google in a Madrid court, the NGO APEDANICA said.

The Spanish Data Protection Association (AEPD) opened a probe May 19 to determine if Google had broken the law protecting citizens' personal data and rights.

Google blamed an "error" for the slip-up. Javier Rodriguez, the company's director for Spain, said the data would be returned to AEPD.

Google admitted the automobile fleet it used to take photos of streets for its Street View map service, collected wireless network data for several years that could include e-mails and passwords.

"Something cannot be an error that was programmed carefully and that was done in 30 countries," APEDANICA chief Miguel Angel Gallardo told EFE.

The association said the search engine could have committed a crime under Article 197 of the Criminal Code. It urged the court to indict the legal representative of Google Espana. Violation of the law could attract one to four years in prison.

Austria and Greece have banned Google's Street View vehicles.