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US trade commission ends Google probe

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Richard Waters in San Francisco

Published: October 27 2010 17:37 | Last updated: October 27 2010 19:09

The top US consumer protection agency has dropped an inquiry into data collection breaches by Google, even as regulators in Europe and Canada have stepped up their scrutiny of the internet giant’s privacy policies.

David Vladeck, the director of the bureau of consumer protection at the Federal Trade Commission, said the FTC had decided to drop its investigation into Google’s allegedly inadvertent collection of consumer data in 2007 because it was satisfied that Google had adequately addressed the issue internally.

The FTC decision marks the end of at least one major probe into the most damaging privacy breach to hit the company to date. But the company is still facing ongoing investigations by individual state attorneys general in the US, and regulators in Spain and Canada both last week concluded that Google had broken local laws while investigations are underway in other countries.

Google admitted for the first time last week that the cars it had used to photograph residential streets for its Street View mapping service had illicitly collected some personal e-mails and passwords from the homes it passed. The breach was first announced in May.

via FT.com / Technology – US trade commission ends Google probe.

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