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Media Statements

Media Statements

Date: 8 June 2010

Google collected Wi-Fi data in Hong Kong

1.    Google Inc. has now given a written Undertaking to the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Mr. Roderick B. Woo ("the Commissioner").  The Undertaking dated 7 June 2010 is the result of protracted discussions between the Commissioner and Google Inc.

2.    In the Undertaking, Google Inc. confirms that it has ceased operating its Street View cars in Hong Kong and undertakes that when the cars commence driving again in Hong Kong they will not collect Wi-Fi data.  In that respect, Google Inc. undertakes 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.

3.    Google Inc. undertakes 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 Inc. 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.

4.    Google Inc. also undertakes 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.

5.    The Commissioner has now requested Google Inc. 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 way forward.

6.    Mr Woo said, "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."