Privacy Commissioner meets with Google

The Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner said that the Commissioner was meeting with representatives from Google this afternoon to discuss Google revelations that it had inadvertently been recording Wi-Fi data.

The Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner said that the Commissioner was meeting with representatives from Google this afternoon to discuss Google revelations that it had inadvertently been recording Wi-Fi data.

In a blog over the weekend, Google revealed the company would stop its Street View cars for the time being after it discovered that the cars had been collecting data from unsecured wireless networks in over 30 countries over the past four years.

The Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner told ZDNet Australia in a statement that the Office could not state its position on the latest revelation until after a meeting with Google representatives this afternoon.

Last week, Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) and the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) sent a joint letter in an email to Google Australia's head of policy Iarla Flynn, asking what Wi-Fi information Google's Street View cars were capturing as they roamed the streets of Australia.

EFA vice-chair Geordie Guy said the weekend's revelations went "a long way" to answering the questions in the letter and said the EFA and APF would now be pushing for an investigation by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

"Our primary concern is that any information that has been captured that is private information about Australians is destroyed and is verifiably destroyed. It's our belief that the organisation that should be responsible for that is the Australian Privacy Commissioner," he added.

Guy said he would watch Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis' response with great interest.

"The Privacy Commissioner, when this first came to light, said nothing Google had said had led her to believe anything was amiss," he said.

"We would like to see if the Australian Privacy Commissioner sticks by her original suggestions that nothing is out of the ordinary or if she's now going to jump in there and do something where she was hesitant before."

Guy said Google Australia had not yet responded to the original letter but suggested that he had received an 'out of office' auto-reply indicating that Flynn's silence might be due to being absent.

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