Australia doesn’t want ‘un-deleted’ Google Street View data

Australia’s Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will not require Google Australia to hand over the Street View ‘payload’ data the company believed was destroyed last March.

Google advised the Commissioner’s office along with a dozen other countries in late July it still had the payload data that Street View cars had collected from unsecured WiFi networks, despite a belief it had already deleted the information.

In 2010 Google was found to have breached the Australia’s Privacy Act but was not penalised. It later told Australians that data was deleted under third party supervision.

In a letter sent to Google on Monday, Commissioner Pilgrim expressed “concern” Google still held data after claiming it was destroyed, but [[xref: after_uk_france_wants_undeleted_street_view_data_--_will_australia_follow_/|unlike privacy watchdogs in France and the UK|]], he has not requested Google hand over that data, opting instead for third-party confirmation that this time it really is deleted.

“I do not require Google to retain the additional payload data and, unless there is a lawful purpose for its retention, Google should immediately destroy the data,” writes Pilgrim.

“Once this has occurred I would like confirmation from an independent third party that the data has been destroyed. Further, I would also request that Google undertakes an audit to ensure that no other disks containing this data exist, and to advise me once this audit is completed.”

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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