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FTC Closes Google Street View Investigation

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it has ended the inquiry into the admission by Google earlier this year that its fleet of cars had inadvertently collected data from thousands of households and businesses while mapping swathes of land for its Street View service.

The US FTC said in a letter sent to Google's legal team that the company has made improvements when it comes to handling user privacy and had pledged not to use the consumer data in any Google service or product.

Google also named a new privacy director, Alma Whitten, earlier this week, one who will build controls within the company to ensure that privacy within the company's products and services are respected.

Back in May 2010, it admitted collecting 600GB worth of data (including passwords, emails and URLs) from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in 33 countries over a period spanning several years.

The news comes after Italian prosecutors launched an investigation against the internet giant for allegedly invading the privacy of Italian citizens and the ICO (the official UK Watchdog) initiated a simillar process to find out whether Google collected sensitive information in the UK and what steps, if any, would need to be taken.