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UK Privacy Watchdog Clears Google Of Wi-Fi Snooping

UK authorities have cleared Google of collecting data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks, the Telegraph has reported.

According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the search giant's Street Cars did not collect any important or sensitive data from unprotected wireless networks while taking images for its Google Maps Street View service.

In a press statement, the ICO said: "While Google considered it unlikely that it had collected anything except fragments of content, we wanted to make our own judgement to the likelihood that significant personal data had been retained and, if so, the extent of any intrusion.”

The decision was reached after the ICO reviewed samples of the data gathered by Google.

Google had apologised publicly for "accidentally" collecting around 600GB worth of personal data from unsecured wireless networks in more than 30 countries around the world.

In response, Google said: “We welcome the news that the data protection authorities in the UK have found that the payload data contained no meaningful personal information. As we said when we announced our mistake, we did not want and have never used any payload data in our products or services.”