Google's illegal collection of personal data in Austria deleted

16:07, May 22, 2010      

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Personal data transferred by public Wi-Fi networks that was illegally collected by Google has been deleted, the Austrian Data Protection Commission said Friday.

The commission added that it is also considering imposing possible sanctions on Google later this month.

Google spokesman Kay Oberbeck admitted in the latest edition of the Vienna weekly "Falter" that Google since 2007 has collected and stored such data as Internet addresses and e-mail in 34 countries, including Austria.

Waltraut Kotschy, executive officer of the Austrian Data Protection Commission, said that although the data has been deleted, the incident was unpleasant.

He also acknowledged that Austria so far has no law to impose severe sanctions on Google, except a fine of 10,000 euros (12,300 U.S. dollars).

In recent years, Google has provided users with geographic information in Google Maps in many countries around the world.

However, data protection agencies in some countries found that Google also illegally collected the personal data transferred by unencrypted wireless LANs when users were viewing the street maps.

In response, Johann Maier, president of the Austrian Data Protection Commission, said Friday that his commission will recommend that the Austrian government establish regulations to prevent such illegal collection of personal data on the European level.

Source: Xinhua


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