4 Nov 2010

Google found to have breached UK data laws

2:43 pm on 4 November 2010

Authorities in Britain say internet company Google broke data protection laws by collecting information including emails, web addresses and passwords from private wireless computer networks.

The data was collected by cars Google sent out to gather pictures for its Street View service.

Though the country's Information Commissioner ruled there was a significant breach of the Data Protection Act, Google will not face a fine or any punishment.

Instead, the Information Commissioner's Office will audit Google's data protection practices.

Earlier this year Google acknowledged collecting similar data from home computers while recording images for Street View in New Zealand.

In September, New Zealand police said there was no evidence to suggest the internet giant did anything criminal by collecting the information, but referred the matter to the Privacy Commissioner.

Germany has told Google it has until December to come up with voluntary guidelines on data protection when filming Street View, or face legislation to protect consumer privacy.