U.K. finds Google in violation of Data Protection Act
Last week, the U.K.'s Information Commissioner issued a statement finding that Google committed a significant breach of the Data Protection Act in collecting data from wireless networks during the process of mapping those wi-fi access points. That might sound grim for Google, but in actuality, there were no penalties assessed against them; basically they just got a slap on the wrist and were told not to do it again, or next time they might not get off so easily.
The Data Protection Act of 1998 governs the protection of personal data in the U.K. It was designed to implement the European Data Protection Directive and sets out both civil and criminal offenses, including "unlawful obtaining of personal data."