Federal Prosecutor Launches An Investigation Into Google

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“We have received a complaint from the privacy protection committee and we have opened an investigation,” the federal prosecutor’s spokesman Eric Van der Sijpt is reported to have said.

The prosecutor believes the US Internet company has committed a “flagrant violation of privacy protection laws”.

Street View cars toured Belgium with roof-top camera’s taking 360-degree pictures of locations that are then posted to Google Maps.

Launched in 2007, Street View has sparked privacy concerns in several European countries including France, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Last May, Google admitted that its Street View cars had inadvertently gathered data sent over unsecured wifi systems, sparking complaints by data regulators globally.

The company has issued an apology, saying “We are sorry to have unintentionally collected data from unsecured wifi networks. As soon as we realised what happened, we interrupted the activities of our Street View cars and we informed the authorities.”

“We neither looked at nor used the data for Google products or services. We are in contact with Belgian authorities and will continue to answer all of their questions,” Google Belgium continued

In March, France’s data privacy regulator imposed a fine of €100,000 on Google for collecting private information and earlier this month, a Swiss court ordered Google to make all images of individuals and vehicle plates unrecognisable on Street View.