Australia Launches Investigation Into Google Privacy Breach

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Walter Bieri/epa/Corbis

It’s not just Facebook that has a privacy problem.

Australia’s Federal Police are launching an investigation into Google after the search giant revealed that its Street View cars collected information over private wireless networks while mapping and photographing city streets.

No charges have been filed at this time.

“This was a mistake,” said Google in a statement to the Associated Press. “We are talking to the appropriate authorities to answer any questions they have.”

Australian authorities allege the data collection could violate the country’s Telecommunications Interception Act. Stephen Conroy, the country’s communication minister, characterized the Street View snafu as “the single greatest breach in the history of privacy” last month.

Google has previously apologized for its actions. The company says small quantities of personal data were mistakenly collected by its fleet of personal cars by accessing unsecured wireless networks.