Two years ago, Google promised to delete ill-gotten Street View data collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks as Google vehicles criss-crossed the globe snapping pictures for Google Maps. Data collected included legal and medical materials, pornography and passwords.
Britain’s regulatory agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office, investigated Google, but halted once Google announced the data was being collected unintentionally. However, the ICO reopened the case last month after American regulators said the information collection was not on accident, instead being collected on purpose by an employee whose peers were aware of it.
On Friday, Google sent a letter to the ICO saying that during a manual review of Street View data, a small portion of the data that was to be deleted was found. “Google apologizes for this error,” Peter Fleischer wrote.
The ISO said they are working with authorities across the European Union to respond to the data issue. “The ICO is clear that this information should never have been collected in the first place and the company’s failure to secure its deletion as promised is cause for concern,” a spokesperson wrote for the agency in an online statement.
The Associated Press reports the data affects France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Australia, Switzerland and Austria.