Google passes Street View audit, but 'must improve' privacy policies

Summary:Google must improve its privacy policies in the wake of the Street View wireless data capturing controversy, says UK data protection agency.

UK's data protection agency, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), has told Google that it must do more to improve its privacy policies, in the aftermath of the Google Street View controversy.

ICO told Google that it had committed a "significant breach" of the data protection laws when the search giant inadvertently collected wireless data from home networks with its Street View cars,

But Google has taken "reasonable steps" to improve its privacy policies, and promised to improve how it handles the data of its users and customers, the ICO said today.

The audit of Google, carried out by the ICO in July -- part of terms agreed by Google following the discovery Street View debacle -- found that Google had improved its privacy practices, but still had work to do.

Included in the suggestions made by the ICO were advanced data protection training for all engineers, as well as a stronger privacy structure across "all functions of the business".

Keen to point out that the audit was not a "rubber stamp" to Google's privacy policies, it highlighted areas where the search giant needed to improve across the board.

"Google will not be filed and forgotten by the ICO", said Christopher Graham, the information commissioner.

The ICO came under its own backlash after it did not fine Google for its actions, even after the company admitted it had collected data.

Germany, which has the strongest data protection and privacy laws in Europe, went one step further and told Google to withdraw its Street View cars from the country.

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Topics: Data Centers, Banking, Collaboration, Data Management, Google, Microsoft, Software, Storage

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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