According to the Minister:
“[If]you were doing a banking transaction, or transmitting personal information, they could have hoovered it up, sucked it up into their machine”.
I’ll let the technical wizards from SAGE-AU explain, in the words of spokesperson Iain Robertson, why this claim is wrong:
“While it is clear Google’s Street View cars collected more data than necessary – a practice not condoned by SAGE-AU – Internet banking data is safe from collection due to the nature of the communications from web browsers to Internet banking servers.
“Banking transactions conducted over the Internet use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption between web browsers and banking servers. Such websites can be identified by the ‘https://’ part of a web address in the browser bar.
“The use of encryption in this manner is a proven technology and is part of banking industry standard practice throughout Australia. Even if portions of Internet banking communications were intercepted by Google’s Street View cars, it is not possible for that data to be decrypted by unintended recipients such as Google.”
SAGE-AU’s press release claims that the Minister’s comments are “misinformation verging on fear mongering”. I’d say his comments are well past the point of “verging” on anything but ineptitude…