Nearly a week after admitting to inadvertently collecting 600GB of personal data while building up their Street View database, Google may face criminal charges in Germany. German prosecutors have started criminal investigations into the matter which will determine if charges will be brought against Google employees.
New York Times - “We are absolutely at an early stage,” Wilhelm Möllers, a spokesman for the Hamburg prosecutor’s office, said in an interview. “This isn’t something that will be wrapped up in two or three weeks. We have to analyze whether there is reason to file criminal charges.”
Officials in Spain, France and the Czech Republic have also announced plans to investigate, but Britain and Ireland have stated that they will not be investigating and have asked Google to simply destroy the data collected in their country.
At a press briefing at the Google I/O developers' conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was direct about the matter. “We screwed up, and I’m not making excuses about it,” Brin said.