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Watchdog in Canada Demands Google Privacy Audit

Canada’s privacy commissioner has asked Google to undergo an independent, third-party audit of its policies after her office found the Internet giant’s lack of privacy programs led it to wrongly collect and hold confidential information of Canadians, the Toronto Sun reported.

Stoddart’s investigation found Google had inadvertently collected scores of private information — complete e-mails, user names and passwords, home telephone numbers and even the medical conditions of some people — from unsecured wireless networks in homes and businesses as site developers for Google Street View drove around the country in 2009 collecting photos of streetscapes for the mapping program.

Google has started to delete the inadvertently collected personal data in Canada and all yet to be deleted information is secured and not accessible, the company stated.

In a statement Monday, Stoddart said she is “satisfied” with Google’s plans to address what she called “shortcomings” in the company’s privacy systems.

“Google appears to be well on the way to resolving serious shortcomings in the way in which it addresses privacy issues,” Stoddart said in statement Monday. “However, given the significance of the problems we found during our investigation, we will continue to monitor how Google implements our recommendations.”

The statement from Google did not say whether it would agree to an independent privacy audit.

[Source: Toronto Sun]

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