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ICO Hunts Down Google Over Data Breach

The UK's privacy watchdog launches a new investigation into domestic data breaches allegedly committed by Google when gathering information for its Google Street View service in Great Britain.

The inquiry has been set up after Google admitted to copying personal, confidential emails and passwords from unsecured wireless networks in UK households while setting up Street View.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has set up the new investigation following a recent report in Canada that Google had allegedly captured very sensitive personal info from Canadians with its Street View mapping cars.

The initial concerns with Google Street View cars obtaining personal and confidential data dates back to May earlier this year.

Google has published a statement on its official blog noting that it had inadvertently obtained emails, passwords, usernames and other data from unsecured wireless networks.

Google's VPof engineering and research, Alan Eustace, adds: "We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and I would like to apologise again for the fact that we collected it in the first place. We are mortified by what happened."

"While most of the data is fragmentary, in some instances entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords".

Google director of privacy, Alma Whitten, adds: "We are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks.

"We are now strengthening our internal privacy and security practices with more people, more training and better procedures and compliance."

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