Google 'would have' broken privacy law, Australia says

Summary:The company has apologised after the country's privacy commissioner said the search giant 'would have' breached privacy laws with its Wi-Fi data harvesting

Australian privacy commissioner Karen Curtis on Friday said her investigation into Google's inadvertent collection of Wi-Fi payload data through its Street View vehicles showed that any collection of personal data by the search giant "would have" breached the Australian Privacy Act.

"Collecting personal information in these circumstances is a very serious matter. Australians should reasonably expect that private communications remain private," said Curtis in a statement, noting that her opinion had been reached after the conclusion of her investigation into the matter "on the information available".

As a result of the investigation, Google has published an apology to Australians about the matter through its Australian blog, and will undertake to conduct a privacy impact assessment on any new Street View data collection activities in Australia that include personal information — with that assessment to be provided to Curtis' office.

For more on this story, see Google's Wi-Fi mistake broke the law on ZDNet Australia.

Topics: Security

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