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Australia slams Google for failing to delete private data stolen by Street View cars

After Google said last year that it had destroyed the data
Wed Aug 08 2012, 12:28
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

WORLD MAPPING OUTFIT Google has come under fire from the Australian government for failing to delete all of the private data it collected from WiFi networks with Street View vehicles in 2010.

Following an investigation by Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim in March 2011, Google said that it had permanently destroyed the data.

However, on 27 July, Google admitted in a letter to Pilgrim that it still had in its possession a portion of payload data its snooping cars collected.

Pilgrim wrote to Google on Monday asking it to "immediately destroy the data".

"I am concerned that the existence of these additional disks has come to light, particularly as Google has advised that the data was destroyed," Pilgrim wrote in his letter to Google.

"Organisations that retain personal information that is no longer required could leave individuals at risk should it be misused."

The privacy commissioner also asked Google to undertake an audit to ensure that no other disks containing this data exist, and to advise him once this audit is completed.

Google didn't say why it failed to delete the data when we asked it for a statement today. Instead, it merely direted us to the Australian Information Commissioner's web site that explains the outcome of Pilgrim's investigation.

Google's failure to delete data it acquired in Australia is related to a global privacy scandal that surfaced in 2010 when it was revealed that Google collected private data from unsecured WiFi networks.

Australia isn't the only country affected by Google's failure to delete the data. The company has also informed authorities in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria that their citizens' personal data had also not been deleted. µ

 

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