Google is "almost certain" to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).
The search giant has been under scrutiny for collecting wi-fi data as part of its StreetView project.
Google has released an independent audit of the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software by mistake. But PI is convinced the audit proves "criminal intent".
"The independent audit of the Google system shows that the system used for the wi-fi collection intentionally separated out unencrypted content (payload data) of communications and systematically wrote this data to hard drives. This is equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation," said PI in a statement.
This would put Google at odds with the interception laws of the 30 countries that the system was used in, it added.