Google denies cover-up as Streetview probe reopened

Search giant denies 'pre-prepared' payload data

Google denies cover up as Streetview probe reopened

Google has strongly rebuffed suggestions that the Streetview data provided to an investigation by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office was 'pre-prepared.'

The ICO is currently seeking more answers from the search giant on the data collected from public Wi-Fi networks, while Streetview cars were mapping the UK in 2010.

Google was fined £25,000 and warned about its future conduct when it was found to have broken rules, but has the ICO has since re-opened the probe amid allegations Google provided doctored data.

Incorrect statements and assumptions

In a letter to the government body, obtained by the Telegraph, Google says there has been "a number of statements and assumptions that incorrectly suggest that the disk made available to the ICO for analysis was "pre prepared" and not representative of the payload collection, and that Google had greater knowledge about payload collection prior to its May 2010 blogpost than previously had been disclosed."

It goes on to say: "Your (The ICO's) letter raises questions about the extent of knowledge of the payload collection in the Company prior to Google's public disclosure of the activity two years ago.

"The FCC Report and recent media coverage suggests that there was widespread knowledge. That is not the case."

The stiff rebuttal comes as the Information Commissioner's Office seeks answers to seven new questions on how and why Google was snooping on public Wi-Fi networks.

As the Telegraph report points out, Google has now destroyed the data (as it was instructed to) so the prospect of further action remains unlikely.

You can read Google's letter to the ICO in full here.

Via: Telegraph