Google has avoided being tackled over personal data - because our privacy watchdog is too small and under-resourced to have a crack at the global internet firm.

The Privacy Commissioner has ruled a new inquiry into the internet giant's snooping would be unlikely to lead to better privacy.

A 2010 probe found Google breached the Privacy Act by allowing Street View cars to photograph homes and streets for Google Maps, and also harvest wi-fi network details.

Google claimed the data had been collected from unsecured networks by mistake and apologised.


The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has a budget of $3.47 million while Google's net worth is about $250 billion.

Google says it will work closely with the commissioner on privacy matters.