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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 (opens in new tab).

According to a post published by the search giant on its European Public Policy blog (opens in new tab), 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.