Google must turn over Street View data to French authorities

French data protection authorities want to examine Wi-Fi payload data that was harvested by Google Street View cars and recently unearthed by the search giant
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Google must hand over recently-discovered Wi-Fi data harvested by its Street View cars to French data protection authorities.

The CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés), fined Google €100,000 in 2011 over the collection of personal data, including passwords and the content of electronic messages. Google was supposed to have destroyed the information, but found this month that some of the data remained in its possession after a manual Street View disk inventory.

CNIL on Tuesday announced that it has reopened its investigation into the company following the discovery of the data.

Google earlier this month notified the UK's data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), that it held paylod data relating to UK Wi-Fi networks. The company requested that it be able to delete the data in question, but was turned down by the ICO.

"Like its British counterpart, the CNIL has asked Google to make the data in question available, and to keep it secure for the duration of all necessary investigations," the French authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

Google's disk inventory is also thought to have turned up data from other countries, which may include Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The information from home and other Wi-Fi networks was gathered by Google's Street View cars while they were driving around collecting photos for the mapping service.

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