09 Aug 2012

Privacy Commission Calls for Destruction of Google’s Street View Data

Wi-Fi data siphoned by Google’s Street View car is ordered to be destroyed at the request of the Australian Privacy Commission. An official letter to Iarla Flynn, Google’s Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, demands that all Australian data collected during the Street View project should be erased immediately.

The Australian Privacy Commission also argues that a third party audit should check for remains of the data on other disks to ensure no copies remain stored inn other locations. The request for an audit follows a recent series of events in which Google was found storing additional information after they claimed to have removed it.

“I would add that I am concerned that the existence of these additional disks has come to light, particularly as Google had advised that the data was destroyed,” says the letter. “Organisations that retain personal information that is no longer required could leave individuals at risk should it be misused.”

In the past 11 weeks, Google notified several European authorities that they’re still hosting random Street View data on its servers, including that of Australian origin.

With France's Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) recently requesting that Google should give up everything they’ve collected, Google UK announced that it still had "in its possession a small portion of payload data collected by our Street View vehicles in the UK".