Google's StreetView service has been found to have violated Canadian privacy laws, but has decided not to press legal charges against the company.
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said that the Wi-Fi snooping performed by Google was the "result of a careless error" and was not at all intentional.
She said that as long as Google promises not to repeat any thing like this in the future and improves the privacy training it provides to its employees, legal action will not be taken. The move is expected to have upset a number of prominent privacy organisations.
A Google spokesperson said in an e-mail to Cnet: “As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks. As soon as we realized what had happened, we stopped collecting all Wi-Fi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities.”
According to the report concluded by the Canadian government, the Wi-Fi snooping occurred when a Google engineer failed to follow company procedure by not sending the Street View design specifications to Google's legal department.