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Guilty Finding Prompts Google Apology

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

July 12, 2010

Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis last week determined that Google breached the country's Privacy Act by collecting personal information from unsecured wireless networks using its Street View vehicles, The New Zealand Herald reports. "Collecting personal information in these circumstances is a very serious matter," Curtis said. "Australians should reasonably expect that private communications remain private." Curtis's office lacks the authority to impose penalties for the breach, but the commissioner ordered the company to apologize, which it did in a blog post, where the company's senior vice president of engineering and research said, "this was a mistake for which we are sincerely sorry." Meanwhile, the company says it has removed from its cars any equipment used to collect WiFi data.
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