Depressing to write two stories about whitewashes on the same day (the other's here). Again, those supposedly responsible for stopping breaches of privacy are instead acting as apologists for such breaches. Earlier, it was the Surveillance Commissioner. Now it's the Information Commissioner. Perhaps the problem lies with these Orwellian names, reversing the meaning of the thing to which they are applied..? They ought to combine forces to form a new Ministry of Love…
The Information Commissioner popped along to see Google about their Wi-Fi data snatching the other day, had a jolly peek at what Google showed them and decided there was "nothing to see here, move along, move along…" A banal statement was issued, effectively letting Google off the hook.
This decision is little short of farcical. Information commissioners (or equivalents) all around the world are investigating Google's Wi-Fi intrusion. In Britain alone, our commissioner has whitewashed the company's wrongdoing.
The Metropolitan police are currently investigating Google over this very issue. If the allegations against Google merit an investigation by the police, who have to consider the criminal standard of fault, how can those allegations not be said to merit an investigation by the ICO?
The ICO has really let British people down. We deserve better from those who are given the responsibility of protecting our privacy.
By Alex Deane