Australia orders privacy probe into Google Street View

6 Giu/10

Australia’s Attorney General has instructed the country’s police to investigate search giant Google for possible breaches of privacy while taking photos for it’s Street View service.

The investigation, reported by the BBC, has come about following complaints  that Google gathered some personal data from unencrypted WiFi networks.

Australian law prohibits people accessing electronic communications for purposes that are not authorised and Attorney General Robert McClelland said there had been “numerous complaints from the public” and added that the police should “investigate possible criminal breaches of the telecommunications privacy laws”.

It’s not the first time Google has come under fire for allegedly gathering data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks, with several countries having expressed concern over Google’s actions, and several more questioning whether the Street View service, in which every street in the world is photographed, is legal and above board.

Google had, according to the Australian government committed “probably the single biggest breach in the history of privacy”.  Though this might be overstating the case a bit, given that there are a great many privacy breaches that take place around the world that the public never get to find out about.

Google has admitted that it “mistakenly collected the data” and has apologised.  Google has implied however that the Australian government is seeking a vendetta as the search giant has been very vocal in it’s criticisms of the Internet censorship laws the country has introduced, laws which have also been criticised much further afield.

We’ll report back and let you know what the result of the Australian police’s investigation is, and if there is lokely to be a prosecution of the company under Australian law.

© Mike Halsey for gHacks technology news, Software And Internet Tips For The Geek In You, 2010. | Permalink | Add to, digg, facebook, reddit, <a href=" orders privacy probe into Google Street Viewstumbleupon, twitter
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