Google discovers more Street View data that escaped destruction

An audit undertaken by Google, following the destruction of 21 Street View hard drives, has turned up two more hard drives that had been missed by the web giant.

Google has found another two disks that contain Australian information from its Street View debacle, despite the fact that the data was supposed to have been destroyed already.

This is the second time that Google has discovered data from the Street View incident that should have been destroyed. The first time, Google found 21 hard drives with information; the Privacy Commissioner had requested that Google destroy the drives in the presence of an independent witness and conduct a second audit to search for any more drives.

It was during this second audit that another two hard drives were found.

Google wrote to Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim yesterday, stating that it had found two additional disks that had been "securely housed in [its] quarantine cages," but were not recognised by the company's systems as being Australian in nature.

"One of the disks was used exclusively in Australia. We would like to delete this disk and, unless you object, we will proceed with its deletion, pursuant to your August 6, 2012 letter," the company wrote to the commissioner.

"The other disk was used in both Australia and New Zealand. We would also like to delete this disk and, unless you object, we will proceed with its deletion when we receive approval to do so from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand."

Today, Pilgrim issued a statement raising his concerns with the web giant, and asking it to come forth with more information as to how its own audits are performed, considering it missed the disks.

"I remain concerned that this data still exists, given that Google previously confirmed that all data relating to this issue had been destroyed," he said in a statement.

"I have asked Google for further information about their audit process, to allow me to better understand the steps taken during the review of their disk inventory."

Google does not expect to identify any other Australian disks.