FTC backs off Google Street View inquiry

The FTC has ended an inquiry into Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Street View mapping service after the search engine giant promised to expand privacy training and delete data collected from WiFi networks worldwide. Besides dashing the hopes of cable operators that this ongoing investigation would keep Google distracted from its cable-busting Google TV service, it also brought to an end an action that had never really been acknowledged by the FTC.

The decision did not sit well with the Center for Digital Democracy which pointed out that Google had been treated much more harshly by similar agencies around the world.

"An ongoing investigation is warranted because this episode shows a larger pattern of data collection that is disturbing and needs to be examined," said Jeffrey Chester, the center's head.

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