Single engineer caused Street View scandal, says Schmidt

Google says the massive furore over Wifi snooping by Street View cars was all the fault of one software engineer.

In an interview with the Financial Times, CEO Eric Schmidt said the whole affair came about because a software engineer inserted unauthorised code into the Street View system software. The man is now under investigation internally by the company, he said.

Schmidt also revealed to the paper that Google has now caved in and agreed to give European regulators all the wireless customer data it collected. It will hand it over in the next few days.

The German, French and Spanish governments will get the data first, after high-level complaints and threats of criminal investigations.

Google agreed pretty quickly to destroy the dodgy data. But just days ago, it was still fighting calls – the most recent being from the city of Hamburg – to hand it over to the authorities.

Eric Schmidt admitted the data collection was ‘in clear violation’ of company policies. The company is now conducting its own investigation into the affair. Schmidt didn’t say whether the findings would be made public, but it seems only fair.