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Australian Federal Police Drop Charges Against Google Over Street View Wi-Fi Data Collection

In a statement issued on Friday, the Australian Federal Police says that Google’s activities “may have” broken the law, but that pursuing the matter further doesn’t make sense, saying the chances of a successful prosecution are “low.”

Evidence exists to suggest that the potential breach of the TIA by Google was inadvertent. Coupled with the difficulty of gathering sufficient evidence required for an examination of potential breaches, the AFP has concluded that it wouldn’t 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.

Google collected private data, including full e-mails and passwords, off unsecured wireless networks with its Street View cars worldwide. Earlier this year, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy described the incident as “the largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies.”

The AFP, calling the breach “inadvertent,” said it was satisfied with Google’s privacy policy changes, which were created to prevent similar incidents heading forward.


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