Spain launches Google Street View investigation

Spain has begun an investigation of Google over its Street View snooping, adding to a growing list of countries already probing the search giant for invasion of privacy.

The news was revealed today by Marisa Toro, a Google spokeswoman in Spain, who said that a Madrid judge issued a subpoena to Google for an October 4 hearing. It will be forced to attend, testify, and provide evidence regarding the Street View debacle.

The Spanish investigation will focus on Google’s revelation that it amassed considerable personal data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks as it trundled along in its Googlemobiles mapping streets for its Street View feature of Google Maps. Google claims the data collection was accidental and blamed a rogue engineer for adding the questionable code to its system.

Google won’t be happy with the Spanish probe, as it is currently facing investigations by Australia, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. In fact, a US watchtog has even accused the company of being in cahoots with the US government, making the privacy catastrophe an even more worrying affair.

Google received a brief respite towards the end of July when it was cleared of data-mining in the UK by the Information Commissioner’s Office, but a seperate investigation by the Metropolitan Police is still underway, and its findings may not be so leniant.

It seems that this is a situation for Google that simply won’t go away. We can probably expect several more countries to launch investigations, and it is unlikely that all of them will let Google off the hook.