UK Daily Mail
June 22, 2010
Google is facing prosecution in France after ‘accidentally’ scooping up the personal information of internet users while compiling its Street View service.
The French data protection agency CNIL asked Google to hand over copies of the data earlier this month.
It is now investigating the data to see whether the U.S. internet giant broke any privacy laws after sending its vans around France to build up its Street View maps.
This included Google recording information on wifi hotspots in order to list local services on the maps.
But in doing so the vans also captured the emails, browsing histories and sensitive information such as the bank details and medical records of residents who were logged in to unsecured, or ‘open’, wifi networks at the time.
Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. are already considering filing civil suits over Google’s capture of similar personal details, which the firm had claimed was accidental.