Australian Privacy Commission investigates Google

The Australian Privacy Commission will investigate internet giant Google after the company admitted it accidentally gathered private data from WiFi networks.

The data was obtained when the company’s Street View cars drove through residential areas and accidentally gained access to private, unsecured WiFi hotspots.

The company disclosed this on its official blog and said it would be doing everything in its power to prevent another occurrence. But privacy commissioner Karen Curtis told The Age an investigation will go ahead.

“At this point in our investigation, it appears that the extent of personal information collected by Google in Australia, if any, is very limited. Nevertheless we regard such collection as a likely breach of the Privacy Act. My office will be discussing this matter further with Google, including action to be taken by Google in respect of any information it has collected.”

“As we stated in our blog post the other day, we plan to work with the authorities in the relevant countries to answer their questions and delete the data as quickly as possible,” a Google spokesperson said.

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