US opens second probe into Google Street View breach
The US Federal Communications Commission has become the latest regulator looking into Google’s Street View data breach, after saying it planned to investigate whether the company’s collection of emails and other private information violated federal laws.
The FCC probe underscores the multiple global investigations still faced by Google for Wi-Fi data collected by its cars photographing streets, despite a decision by the US Federal Trade Commission to drop its probe last month.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office finally gave Google a slap on the wrists when it issued an enforcement notice over the data collection fiasco earlier this month.
The decision closed the book on a much-maligned investigation in the UK, but US officials might not let the search giant off so lightly.
“In light of their public disclosure, we can now confirm that the Enforcement Bureau is looking into whether these actions violate the Communications Act,” Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, said.
A Google spokesman said in a statement that the company was sorry for mistakenly collecting data from unencrypted networks and is cooperating with regulators.
“We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward, as well as to answer their further questions and concerns,” the spokesman said, in a statement that closely echoed the company line in Europe.
Google has said it plans to mitigate future privacy concerns by appointing a director of privacy for engineering and product management, training key employees on privacy, and building a formal privacy review into the early phases of new initiatives.
It is unclear what remedies the FCC might seek from Google, depending on the findings of its investigation.
The world’s largest Internet company still faces inquiries in other countries over the Street View data as well as from more than 30 US state prosecutors.