The West

Google fails to destroy all NZ information
Google fails to destroy all NZ information

New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner has criticised Google after the company admitted it didn't destroy all the private information it collected from unsecured wifi networks during its street view data-gathering.

Recent checks have found one disk that may contain information collected in New Zealand and Australia, despite Google earlier informing the Privacy Commissioner that all information had been securely destroyed.

The destruction had been verified by an independent agency.

The Privacy Commissioner's office has told Google to destroy the disk that had been missed.

"It's very disappointing that this disk could be overlooked," Assistant Commissioner Katrine Evans said.

"Collecting the information in the first place was a major breach of privacy, and we made it plain as part of our original investigation that all the information should be destroyed."

An investigation by the Privacy Commissioner, which concluded in December 2010, found Google in breach of New Zealand privacy law.

At that time Google provided an undertaking to destroy the information, which it verified had happened in 2011.

In July this year Google notified several privacy regulators that checks revealed it still had some information collected from wifi networks.

The Privacy Commissioner immediately asked Google to check whether it still held any information from New Zealand.

"Fortunately, it appears very unlikely that the information on the disk has been accessed or used in any way. Google is willing to destroy the disk," Ms Evans said.

"It has also apologised for its mistake. We sincerely hope that this will be an end to what has been a long-running saga."

The West Australian

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