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Mean streets go soft on Google

Mean streets go soft on Google

Google has not needed to search for spare change as it has escaped a fine despite its Street View service having committed "a significant breach" of British law.Google was brought before the…

Google has not needed to search for spare change as it has escaped a fine despite its Street View service having committed "a significant breach" of British law.

Google was brought before the United Kingdom's Information Commissioner after cars used for the internet mapping service also picked up private emails and passwords amongst traditional British images of thatched roof cottages, crop circles, wandering badgers and punters drinking pints.

Google claimed the private information was picked up "mistakenly" and was not used in any of its products or services.

The Information Commissioner acknowledged Google was a very naughty boy, and decided to make Google work with the relevant authorities and promise not to do it again, rather than leave it lighter in the skyrocket.

The group Privacy International has previously raised complaints with the UK Information Commissioner about images caught by Street View.

Those complaints include the story of a 15-year-old boy caught with a skateboard against the wishes of his parents, and subsequently leaving home after a row ensued; a married man pictured "speaking in close proximity" to two female work colleagues and having an argument with his wife, despite his protestations that surrounding noise meant he had to lean in to be heard; and another man caught smoking, putting stress on his relationship, as he had not told his partner that he was back on the fags.

There were unconfirmed reports that the drivers of Street View cars were being supervised by the Nanny in the naughty corner, playing with the more than $1 billion the company made in "mobile revenue" for the third quarter this year.

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