Google has admitted to having Street View data it said it had deleted in France, following its admission last Friday of having kept information from the United Kingdom, too. And, again, Google's apologies won't quite cut it. The company sent out a similarly sympathetic letter to France, saying, "Google has recently confirmed that it still has in its possession a portion of payload data collected by our Street View vehicles. Google apologizes for this error. Google would now like to delete the remaining data," The New York Times' Eric Pfanner reports. But, like England, France's privacy protection agency, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), will investigate the data, putting the company in a dangerous position if it's revealed that it kept anything particularly damning hidden.
Google continues to maintain that this was all a mistake and hasn't made clear why it suddenly discovered this information. Google hasn't gotten more than a light spanking for collecting the information in the first place. The U.S. fined the company $25,000. England said the company had violated privacy laws, but escaped any real punishment, as The Telegraph reported in June. France also hit the company with a heftier, but not too damning, $120,000 fine. Of course, for a giant company like Google, the bad press does more damage than a $145,000 bill. But, these new investigations not only show a dirtier side to the company, but also put it at risk of harsher punishments.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.