Google gives undertakings to Privacy Commissioner

12 07 2010

Google has given undertakings to the Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis, after the completion of her investigations into Google’s inadvertent collection of unsecured Wi-Fi data from private residencies around Australia, whilst collecting images for Google Street View.

Google has given the following undertakings:

–          That it will publish an apology to Australians for its collection of unsecured WiFi data in its official Australian Blog

–          That it will provide a privacy impact assessment (PIA) on any new Street View data collection activities its undertakes in Australia

–          This is will provide a copy of these PIAs to the Commoners Office

–          That it will regularly consult with the Privacy Commissioner about personal data collection activities arising from significant product launches in Australia.

The undertakings come after the Commissioner was satisfied that the information collected by Google breached the Privacy Act 1988.

The Commissioner was unable to impose a sanction on Google due to having already initiated an investigation. This has prompted the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to make an inquiry into Australian privacy laws. This may prompt the government into taking action to strengthen the enforcement regime.

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