France joins probes into Google Street View
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 23:56
  
Paris: France became the latest country on Thursday to probe Google for gathering personal data as its Street View bikes and cars photographed cities across the world for the controversial mapping service.

The French data protection agency CNIL said it was examining private data collected for Street View, including emails and possibly banking details, to decide if the firm should face criminal charges or other sanctions.

Street View lets users view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps and take a virtual "walk" through cities such as New York, Paris or Hong Kong.

The service, which began in 2006, first came in for criticism for threatening the privacy of people caught -- sometimes in embarrassing situations -- in the photos taken by cars cruising cities in over 30 countries.

But when it emerged that Google's cars and bikes had also been gathering fragments of personal data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems, legal action and official probes were quickly announced across the world.

CNIL chairman Alex Turk said Google sent its data to the French agency on June 4 after the CNIL requested it, and said that by September he hoped to be able to decide whether or not the Internet giant should face any sanctions.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 23:56


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