October 27, 2010 / 3:56 PM / 9 years ago

Italian magistrates probe Google Street View

ROME, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Rome prosecutors are investigating whether Google’s Inc.’s (GOOG.O) Street View mapping service violated privacy laws, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

The service has come under scrutiny in several countries. Last week Google said that its “Street View” cars around the world had accidentally collected more personal data — including complete emails and passwords — than previously disclosed.

Regulators in France, Germany and Spain, among others, have opened investigations into the case and a coalition of more than 30 state attorneys general in the United States have also launched a joint probe.

The Italian investigation was made public just two days after Italy’s privacy regulators told Google to make sure its Street View photo-collecting cars were clearly marked and their itinerary was publicised.

“The collection of wi-fi data by its Street View cars has been an accidental error for which we are deeply sorry and apologise,” Google said in a statement about the Italian probe on Wednesday, adding it was ready to cooperate with authorities. Under the Italian regulator’s decision, Google will have to publish three days in advance on its web site, in local newspapers and on radio in which locality, including which area of a large city, the cars will be operating.

In September, the authority ordered a block on Google processing “payload data” collected by the cars from wi-fi radio networks after launching an investigation in May. (Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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