Google has paid out $7m (£4.6m) across 38 US states in a legal settlement over the "inappropriate" harvesting of personal data that occurred during its Street View project between 2008 and 2010.
Data included emails, passwords and internet browsing histories, all of which Google has agreed to destroy as part of the settlement.
Google acknowledged an error in collecting the data, which was taken from wireless internet connections as the Street View cars drove around neighbourhoods. The firm said the data harvesting was the result of a piece of code that was erroneously present in one engineer's system.
"We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn't, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue," Google said in a statement.
"The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it. We're pleased to have worked with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and the other state attorneys general to reach this agreement," the statement continued.
In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ordered Google to destroy the data collected by Street View in similar circumstances as long ago as November 2010.
But by July 2012 it was still investigating whether all harvested information had actually been destroyed. Google has never been fined in the UK over the collection of this data.
It was reported last week that homeowners in Carshalton, Surrey, who had asked Google in 2009 to remove images of their property from Street View, found more recently updated data from their street which again shows clear photographs of the fronts of their houses.
Google has said it will investigate the complaints.
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