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Privacy Commissioner unhooks Google again

Won’t re-investigate StreetView slurp

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Google is once again to be spared the nightmare horror of being savaged by Australia’s privacy watchdog its StreetView data slurp.

News had speculated at News that a new probe “loomed” following the US FCC’s report into the sorry saga, which found that the Chocolate Factory knew what was going on for three years.

The story has spurred Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim into action, although not the action that News had in mind: in this statement, he announces that there will be no new investigation into Google.

Apparently, the commissioner has decided that because Google has behaved itself since the world rose up in outrage against its uninvited Big Brotherism, its behavior before it was spooked into ending its WiFi data collection can go through to the keeper.

“I have considered the FCC’s report and don’t consider that a new investigation would reveal any information that would change our original finding,” he wrote.

There is a faint hint that a new investigation wouldn’t be worth the effort under current Australian privacy laws, with Pilgrim noting that the current agreement had to be agreed with Google, because his office can’t impose enforceable undertakings. That agreement includes Google’s apology to Australians for collecting WiFi payload data, conducting a privacy assessment for future changes to StreetView data collection, and consulting with the commissioner about all data collection activities in Australia. ®

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