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Commissioner: WiFi Collection Breached Privacy Act

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

July 9, 2010

Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis has determined that the collection of personal information through unsecured wireless networks by Google's Street View vehicles breached the Australian Privacy Act, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Collecting personal information in these circumstances is a very serious matter," Curtis said Friday, following the conclusion of her investigation. "Australians should reasonably expect that private communications remain private." However, the office does not have the power to impose penalties for such breaches. Instead, Google has agreed to conduct a privacy impact assessment of the data collected and has issued a formal apology, stating "this was a mistake for which we are sincerely sorry."
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