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Google wi-fi Information Collection

( Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said today:

“Concerns are currently being expressed about reports that Google has collected wi-fi information during its Street View operation in New Zealand.

I am surprised that the public was not more clearly told beforehand if Google would be collecting other information with its Street View cars. It is good practice to tell people in advance what information is being collected and what that information will be used for.

However, we need to find out more details from Google before we can identify privacy issues that might arise.

We have now contacted Google for confirmation that they collected wireless network information when doing Street View filming in New Zealand. We would also like to know for example whether information will identify the type of device, name of the network, whether the network was secure or unsecured and how the information will be used.

Once we have some more detail we will decide whether further action or comment is required.”

Media Release 14 May 2010 from Privacy Commissioner.



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