A Google Street View car cruises by a protest near the company&39's campus in Mountain View, Calif., in August.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Google has been given the go-ahead by the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office to delete the data it collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks as part of its Street View operation.

Over the past year, the search and advertising giant has drawn criticism from privacy campaigners and has come under investigation by national data protection authorities for the harvesting of data, which may have included passwords and login details. Street View cars obtained and stored information from home and other Wi-Fi networks while driving around neighborhoods taking images for Google Maps.

"I welcome the fact that the Wi-Fi payload data that should never have been collected in the first place can, at last, be deleted," Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said in a statement Friday.

Google said it intends to erase the data as soon as possible. It told ZDNet UK that it is not subject to any outstanding legal proceedings in the U.K. over the data harvesting.

Read more of "Google gets OK to delete Street View Wi-Fi data" at ZDNet UK.

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