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Google to delete personal data collected accidentally

Google has agreed to delete all personal data collected by its Street View cars from unsecured wireless networks. The company was accused of unlawfully harvesting data, including e-mails, passwords and website addresses.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2010 15:28 IST

Google has agreed to delete all personal data collected by its Street View cars from unsecured wireless networks.

Google sparked an international outrage last month after it admitted to collecting information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks as its vehicles roamed residential streets.

The company was accused of unlawfully harvesting data, including e-mails, passwords and website addresses, during the creation of its Street View maps.

British Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said Google will also introduce improved training measures on security awareness and data protection issues for all its employees worldwide, reports the Daily Mail.

Graham said: "I am very pleased to have a firm commitment from Google to work with my office to improve its handling of personal information.

"It is a significant achievement to have an undertaking from a major multinational corporation like Google Inc that extends to its global policies and not just its UK activities."

Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president, signed an undertaking on behalf of Google Inc to put in place improved training measures on security awareness and data protection issues for all employees, the Information Commissioner's Office said.

The company will also require its engineers to maintain a privacy design document for every new project before it is launched and the personal data collected in Britain will be deleted.

The decision is a victory for privacy campaigners, who were furious that Google had refused to back down over claims that it had unlawfully accessed private data, albeit accidentally.