Home > All, Politics, Security Issues > The ICO, Google and the need for a new pit bull approach to privacy

The ICO, Google and the need for a new pit bull approach to privacy

Have I mentioned that the ICO is a waste of both space and money? Well, if you ever doubted me, doubt no more. It has been treated with utter contempt by Google, and there’s not a damn thing it can do.

Do you remember Spy-Fi, when Google engaged in its very own version of drive-by downloading? Well the ICO said, “No! Stop it. Don’t do it again. And delete what you’ve got.” And Google said, ever-so politely, yes sir – we will. Only it didn’t. “Google has recently confirmed that it still has in its possession a small portion of payload data collected by our Street View vehicles in the UK.” It says it was an error and will work with the ICO to remedy the situation.

But how does the ICO know? How does the ICO know what Google has done with that payload data, what it may do with that payload data, or how many copies of that payload exist in what parts of Google’s vast and nebulous cloud? It wrote back, even more politely, asking for Google to store the data securely for examination before being told what to do with it.

But how does the ICO know, and what can it do? Nothing, except take the word of big business.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, has no doubt on what should happen:

The Information Commissioner is hampered by a woeful lack of powers and is forced to trust organisations to tell the truth. Given Google’s behaviour has called into question if that really is a proper way to protect our personal data, it must be right to now demand a proper regulator with the powers and punishments to fully protect British people’s privacy.

It’s time to get rid of the self-congratulatory lap dog and replace it with an angry pit bull.

Categories: All, Politics, Security Issues
  1. Pippa
    July 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Do you think our privacy and It security needs differ from those in the US? IT security might be a global industry, but with Europe facing differing standards and threats, just how in the dark are we?
    SC Magazine is gathering your thoughts in a short 1- minute survey:


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