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from the L.A. Times

FTC halts investigation of Google's Street View

Ending a major battle over its collection of data over unsecured wireless networks while operating a fleet of vehicles for its Street View mapping service, Google received a letter from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it had closed its investigation after the Internet giant pledged to strengthen privacy controls.

The agency also said the Mountain View, Calif., company agreed not to use the data it says it inadvertently collected, according to a letter from David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, to Albert Gidari, a Google attorney.

Google will not face any fines in the U.S. but is still subject to investigations elsewhere in the world.

The probes stem from an acknowledgment in May that Google had intercepted data from unsecured wireless networks. Last week, Google said it discovered that, rather than just fragments, it had in some cases collected e-mail messages and passwords. The company has no plans to resume collecting information about the location of wireless networks with its Street View cars.

Google last week also outlined steps, such as privacy training for employees, that it was taking to safeguard consumer privacy.

-- Jessica Guynn


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