Google just happens to find Street View data it was supposed to have deleted

Google Street View

In late 2010 the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) decided to let Google off the hook for all the Internet data it illicitly collected from people’s Wi-Fi networks while roaming around snapping pictures of British roads and building for its Street View project. Google claimed it had originally intended its Street View vehicles basically make note of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots to help develop its location-based services — after all, if GPS or cellular information isn’t available, sometimes a Wi-Fi network can be a way to help pin down a device’s location. Except Google’s Street View vehicles did more than that: they also captured email messages, URLs, passwords, and anything else that might have been transiting unsecured Wi-Fi networks at the time — and Google, being Google, naturally saved all that information.

The ICO decided not to fine Google over the gaffe — rather sporting of them, considering they could have assessed hefty fines against the company. Instead, the ICO’s agreement with Google merely called for the search giant to delete all the data it had collected — and be subject to an audit from the ICO.

Now, Google has revealed it didn’t actually delete all that Street View data and is apparently in violation of its settlement with UK authorities. In a letter to the ICO (PDF), Google revealed that it still has a “small portion of payload data” collected by Street View vehicles in the UK, which it claimed turned up as it was conducting an inventory and re-scanning of “thousands of discs.” And they didn’t just find payload data from the UK: data collected by Street View vehicles in other countries turned up too. Google says it’s in the process of notifying authorities there.

The ICO has informed Google to hand over the newly re-discovered data immediately so it can perform an analysis and decide on an appropriate response.

“The ICO is clear that this information should never have been collected in the first place and the company’s failure to secure its deletion as promised is cause for concern.”

Google just can’t seem to escape fallout from its collection of Wi-Fi data by its Street View vehicles. The company was recently fined by the FCC for deliberately witholding information that engineers knew the systems were collecting data from Wi-Fi networks. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has cleared Google, the FCC’s investigation of Google’s Street View effort is ongoing. Google is also still facing scrutiny from European regulators for Street View data collection.

Gaming

The 'Fallout 76' beta starts tomorrow! Here's when it starts and how to join

Want to get into Bethesda's Fallout 76 beta? We don't know when the program will launch, but we provide instructions on how to get ready. The game officially launches on November 14.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1 update will include a fix for iPhone XS, XR selfies

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your photos off the 'gram and saved elsewhere. But Instagram has recently launched a tool that lets you download all of your…
Home Theater

Become a master caster with these Google Chromecast tips and tricks

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.
Emerging Tech

Looking for a good read? Here are the best, most eye-opening books about tech

Sometimes it's sensible to put down the gadgets and pick up a good old-fashioned book -- to read about the latest gadgets, of course. Here are the tech books you need to check out.
Computing

Samsung’s HMD Odyssey Plus gives you a clearer view into the virtual world

Samsung's refreshed HMD Odyssey+ promises to make Windows Mixed Reality experiences better by eliminating pixelated views caused by screen doors. The $500 headset also focuses on comfort this year with ergonomic improvements.
Computing

Intel denies rumors that 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs have been canned

Intel's long-in-development and oft-delayed, Cannon Lake 10nm CPU design has reportedly been canceled. Intel is denying the rumor, but if true, it could push back the release of new Intel chips by a long time.
Computing

Not to be outdone, Samsung says it’s making a laptop with a foldable display

Samsung announced that it is also working on a dual-screen computer. But rather than using two separate display panels, Samsung said that its novel laptop will come with a large flexible display that can fold when closed.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Computing

A new bug in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update could delete your files

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update has been on a rough path and in the latest set of issues, a new bug is impacting native zip file operations, potentially leading to overwritten files in some instances. 
Computing

Antivirus software has evolved a lot recently, and we need it more than ever

Everyone says you need it, but really is antivirus software, and how does it work? It depends on who you ask as different digital security companies employ different techniques to combat the latest malware threats.
Computing

Nvidia’s new GTX 1060 6GB could counter AMD’s rumored RX 590

Nvidia's GTX 1060 is about to get more powerful for new buyers, as the green team has introduced a new version with GDDR5X memory at its disposal. This could prove competitive with AMD's rumored RX 590.
Computing

A canceled education order is increasing hopes for new Macbook model

With Apple's October 30 event fast approaching, rumors continue to surface about new Macs and iPad models. In the latest news, a canceled education order is stoking hopes for a new MacBook model.