Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart announced Tuesday that her investigation into the "inadvertent" wi-fi data collection associated with Google's Street View service found the company did violate privacy laws.
CNW reports the privacy commissioner launched the inquiry under Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act after Google admitted that its Street View software contained code that collected users' personal information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Google maintained at the time that it was completely unaware the software contained the code.
The privacy commissioner's team determined the person who created the code indicated it could potentially cause privacy issues, but because he did not send the code to Google's lawyers for review, the potential issues were never evaluated. The whole situation resulted from "a careless error that could easily have been avoided," Stoddart said.
Google has until Feb. 1, 2011, to fulfill its obligations.