Google to delete HK Street View packet data
Google has promised to delete all Wi-Fi data collected by its Street View vehicles in Hong Kong, the city’s privacy commissioner has announced.
In a move that marks a striking contrast with US and European regulators, who are planning lawsuits, Roderick Woo, Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner for personal data, plans no further action.
The commission asked Google to erase all Wi-Fi payload data collected from Hong Kong citizens and to provide a third-party verification of this erasure, Woo said.
Google has agreed to comply. “To date, Hong Kong [is] the only privacy regulator which has successfully procured an undertaking and affidavit from Google,” Woo said.
Woo said his office has decided not to carry out a formal investigation into Google, because the collected data did not contain details that can identify any one individual.
In any case, Google had not accessed, and had no intention to compile, the data, he added.
Google landed in hot water in May when it admitted its Street View fleet had collected fragments of Wi-Fi packet data in cities around the world.
The revelation sparked uproar from privacy regulators and net users worldwide. While some have indicated they plan to ask Google to delete the collected data, they are holding off on this request until they complete an analysis of the data.
More than 30 US states are considering joint legal action against the company.