Heather Smith
Friday, August 27, 2010

A car used by Google Inc. to collect data for its Street View mapping service was stopped and searched yesterday near Paris, less than a week after France’s privacy regulator criticized the program’s resumption.

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The inspection was a result of Google’s decision to begin photographing French streets before officials decided whether the company complied with orders to limit Street View’s data collection, said Yann Padova, secretary general of the National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties.

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The search “was done especially to verify that they stopped collecting Wi-Fi data,” Padova, 43, said in an interview today.

Google, owner of the world’s largest search engine, said the search had been arranged beforehand. The company is being probed by data-protection regulators in Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic over concerns the Street View program violates privacy rights. Earlier this month, South Korean police raided Google’s Seoul office as part of a Street View investigation. Google’s privacy practices are also being scrutinized by Canada and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Full story here.

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