Google Street View Cars Back On The Road

Google will soon start to collect data for its Street View service in further European countries and in South Africa, news agency Reuters reported today.

According to a post published by the search giant on its European Public Policy blog, Google is to put its controversial Street View cars back on the road next week, after obtaining permission from data protection regulators in countries including Norway, Sweden, Ireland and South Africa.

This time, however, the cars will not be collecting any data from Wi-Fi networks they pass - an activity that has got the company in trouble with privacy regulators worldwide, and which Google says was the result of an "error".

"In May we announced that we had mistakenly included code in our software in Street View cars that collected Wi-Fi payload data," wrote vice president of engineering at Google Geo, Brian McClendon.

Google has apologised for the incident, and assured its complete cooperation in resolving the matter. Future surveys will focus on collecting photographs and 3D images, it says. The company hopes to expand the service to further countries in the near future.