May 17, 2010 / 11:30 PM / 9 years ago

Google faces probes over data it collected: report

A camera used for Google street view is pictured at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc could face inquiries from German and U.S. officials following the company’s disclosure it had “mistakenly” collected sensitive data sent by consumers over wireless networks, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Google said on Friday its fleets of cars responsible for photographing streets around the world had for several years accidentally collected personal information — which a security expert said could include email messages and passwords.

Peter Schaar, German commissioner for data protection, said the Internet giant’s explanation was “highly unusual” and called for a “detailed probe” into the practice, the FT reported.

“One of the largest companies in the world, the market leader on the Internet, simply disobeyed normal rules,” the FT cited Schaar as saying.

Citing people who spoke to agency officials the paper said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was also looking to launch an inquiry.

Google said on Friday it was approaching regulators in the relevant countries, which include the United States, Germany, France, Brazil and Hong Kong in China, about how to dispose of the data, which Google said it never used.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Gary Hill

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