London: Internet giant Google has apparently broken an agreement to delete data collected by its Street View vehicles as per Britain's information watchdog, a news wire has reported.
Britain's Information Commissioner's Office said it had received a letter from Google Inc saying the company still possessed some of the data collected prior to May 2010. It said the data should have been deleted by December 2010.
Google had angered regulators in several countries in 2010 when it acknowledged that its mapping cars, which carried cameras across the globe to create three-dimensional maps of the world's streets, had also scooped up passwords and other data being transmitted over unsecured wireless networks.
Google's failure to delete the data appears to breach an agreement signed by the company in 2010, ICO said. "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."
In the letter from Google — published on the ICO website — Google says it recently confirmed it still has data from the UK and other countries and is in the process of notifying relevant authorities elsewhere. Other countries affected include Ireland, France, Belgium , the Netherlands, Norway , Sweden, Finland, Switzerland , Austria and Australia, the company said.
"Google apologizes for this error," said Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel. Google wrote in its letter to the ICO that it would like to delete the data but was awaiting the ICO's instructions on how best to proceed.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012, 10:29