Google Wi-Fi breach 'inadvertent', say police

The Federal Government had referred the matter to the AFP on 3 June this year

he Australian Federal Police has dropped any case against Google over its high-profile blunder in collecting Wi-Fi data with its Street View cars, noting the data collection may have been “inadvertent” rather than a deliberate privacy breach.

The Federal Government had referred the matter to the AFP on 3 June this year, after the revelation of the data collection in a number of countries made international headlines. At the time, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy referred to the incident as possibly the single greatest breach in the history of privacy in Western democracies.

However Google has since publicly apologised, committed to destroying the data, and cooperated with the Federal Privacy Commissioner on the issue.

In a statement issued late last week, the AFP stated that it had engaged external senior counsel (legal assistance) to assist in the assessment of Google’s action. Advice provided by that party concluded that the incident may have constituted a breach of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act. However, the AFP decided not to take the case further.

“Evidence exists to suggest that the potential breach of the TIA by Google was inadvertent,” the agency said in a statement. “Coupled with the difficulty of gathering sufficient evidence required for an examination of potential breaches, the AFP has concluded that it would not be an efficient and effective use of the AFP’s resources to pursue this matter any further.”

“The likelihood of a successful criminal prosecution in this matter is considered to be low.”

The AFP pointed out that law enforcement agencies had made “comparable conclusions” in similar situations internationally — resolving them within their national privacy regimes. And the AFP noted it was satisfied with Google’s undertakings to the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

The agency also made one last point. It recommended users take advantage of the Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online cyber security information site and secure their wireless networks to enhance internet security.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?