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Google agrees not to collect Wi-Fi data in HK
Date:2010/6/10      View:1417
Google has ceased operating its Street View cars in Hong Kong and undertaken that when the cars commence driving again in the city they will not collect Wi-Fi data, HK's Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data ( the Office) said on Tuesday.

As a result of protracted discussions between the two parties, the Commissioner Roderick B. Woo confirmed that Google has given him a written Undertaking on Monday to assure their observance of personal data privacy rights in the operations of their business in HK.

"I am pleased that Google Inc. has finally agreed to give a formal Undertaking which assures me that appropriate remedial measures are being taken and addresses the public concern in Hong Kong that Google Inc. had wrongly collected the payload data," said Woo.

According to the statement from the Office, Google has undertaken that future Street View car operations carried out in Hong Kong shall comply with the requirements of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, Cap. 486, Laws of Hong Kong. It has agreed to provide the Commissioner access to the payload data identified as coming from Hong Kong which the Street View cars had collected, and shall render such assistance as may be required to facilitate the Commissioner's understanding of the process of the collection and the interpretation of such data.

In the meantime, Google shall securely store the data, including any backup, archives or copies and shall not tamper with same or allow anyone to have unauthorized use or access which may contravene the laws of Hong Kong. Google has also assured to completely delete the payload data at the direction of the Commissioner and to provide the Commissioner with an independent third party's verification of the deletion.

The statement said the Commissioner has requested Google to provide him with a copy of an analysis by an independent technical service firm which has reviewed the source code involved in the payload data collection. The Commissioner will consider the analysis and other relevant materials before deciding the following movements.

The search engine giant admitted last month that they had collected and recorded unencrypted Wi-Fi data when only locations of Wi-Fi should have been recorded for their intended location services. The Office then commenced a compliance check against Google from May 17.

Launched in 2007, Google Street View is a technology that provides views from various position along streets in the world. The data collected is used to improve Google's location-based services.
Changzhou Office: A403, Building 3, No.18 HuaShan Road, New North District, ChangZhou City, JiangSu Province, China
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