EU concern over allegations of Google data breaches
by Claude Moraes
The online search engine Google finds itself in the spotlight again over potential breaches of EU data protection rules concerning the street-view cars used for Google Maps - reveals MEP
Now, two years later, it has come to light that perhaps Google was not as innocent as the company had previously claimed. Internal emails and documents released in a report by the US media regulator, the Federal Communication Commission, contradict Google's claims that this was just a mistake. The report alleges that a Google engineer had created special software that could "collect, store and review payload data for possible use in other Google projects". This software was then used to collect data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks as the street-view cars passed through some neighborhoods across Europe.
The EU is making efforts towards improving legislation in this area with the current Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Directive that are going through the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament. These revised texts, when finally adopted, will hopefully send a strong message to businesses that there are serious repercussions for breaching a citizen's right to data protection. No one should have the right to take people's private data without their full knowledge and full consent.
Claude Moraes is a British MEP and deputy leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party
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