The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will not be taking any further action against Google for recording 600GB of confidential information using its Street View cars.
The FTC expressed concerns in a letter to Google's lawyers (PDF) that the data could have been collected in the first place, but said that it is satisfied by changes to Google's management structure and business processes.
"[Google] publicly stated its intention to delete the inadvertently collected payload data as soon as possible," said the letter.
"Google has made assurances to the FTC that the company has not used and will not use any of the payload data collected in any Google product or service, now or in the future.
"This assurance is critical to mitigate the potential harm to consumers from the collection of payload data. Because of these commitments, we are ending our inquiry into this matter at this time."
Consumer protection groups reacted angrily to the FTC announcement, which was not expected.
"Once again Google, with its myriad of government connections, gets a free pass," said John M. Simpson, of the Inside Google Project at consumer advocacy organisation Consumer Watchdog.
"At a minimum the public deserved a full report about Google's abuses from the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
"Instead, the company announced a few steps that are little more than window dressing, and the FTC caves in with a woefully inadequate two-page letter."
The announcement comes days after the UK's Information Commissioner's Office repoened its investigation into Google's collection of full emails, URLs and passwords from British citizens.
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