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Google allows Street View car inspection

Internet giant Google is likely to allow German data protection officers to examine one of its controversial Street View cars, which collects data for its online mapping service, the company announced today.

world Updated: May 27, 2010 14:58 IST

Internet giant Google is likely to allow German data protection officers to examine one of its controversial Street View cars, which collects data for its online mapping service, the company announced on Thursday.

Earlier this month, German officials were highly critical of a data protection gaffe which enabled the Google's vehicles to collect snippets of private data on unencrypted wifi networks as they trawled the streets gathering information to appear on Street View.

The decision came after Hamburg data protection officer Johannes Caspar asked to inspect a Street View vehicle, when Google admitted the error earlier this month.

"Since we announced two weeks ago that we wrongly recorded wifi user data, we are globally working hard to address the associated concerns of data protection authorities," Google wrote in a statement.

The US company also agreed in principle for Caspar to see an original hard drive from a Street View vehicle, but said they first had to resolve legal issues over the private data contained on such a hard drive.

"We hope that a solution for this difficult situation will be found soon," Google said.

Hamburg-based prosecutors have launched an initial investigation into the data collection gaffe.