Italy slaps restrictions on Google's Street View

Oct 25, 2010

Italy's privacy regulator on Monday announced restrictions on Google's Street View mapping service, echoing privacy concerns aired elsewhere in Europe.

Google cars must now "be clearly identifiable by signs and stickers" indicating they will be taking pictures for , the regulator said in a statement.

Google must also publish on its website the names of the areas it intends to photograph three days ahead and publish the same information in at least two local newspapers and a radio station so residents can choose to stay away.

Google risks fines of up to 180,000 euros (252,000 dollars) for violating the new Italian curbs.

The California company has rolled out Street View in 20 countries but it faces strong resistance in some places due to concerns over invasion of .

In September, the Czech data protection authority banned Google from collecting Street View data because its cameras were set too high and in Germany, Google agreed to block images of houses on request.

Last week, Spain's data protection authority filed a suit against Google for allegedly capturing other data from Internet users when it collected images for Street View.

In May, Italy's privacy regulatory opened an investigation into after the company acknowledged having mistakenly gathered personal data via Street View.

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5 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2010
Well, they pretty much have more detailed maps in American than the government has.

The street view cameras took pictures of everything in every major orientation, every 20 ft or so, for every street, including my own.

the detail is so great that the renderer is able to present it as an almost seamless environment in which you can pan the camera is nearly any way imaginable. The image finding software built into it is able to recognize planes in perspective to identify features such as signs, fence lines, tree lines, roads, bridges, etc, as man-made or natural planar boundaries in perspective, regardless of camera orientation.

Google knows exactly everything about you, from how many trees and shrubs are in your yard (pith perspective, they can see almost everything behind you house, not just the front yard,) to how many cars you have, etc. Worse, professional thieves can even use this to study your neighbourhood in extreme detail without ever even driving through.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2010
From what I can tell, there may have been as many as 72 photographs taken at each GPS marker. There are around 24 unique views with a "level" perspective, perhaps even with the top of the vehicle, and then around 24 uniques looking slightly down (sidewalk, road markings, pot holes,) and another 24 looking slightly upward (at the tree line.)

For giggles, I tested to see if it had a "WSAD" interface and a arrow key interface, like a first person shooter, and it does.

The client side javascripts that control this are of video game complexity, not to mention the scripts on server side which generate these javascripts dynamically.

If you want to be humbled, go to google street view and right click, and select "view source".

With a little work, they should be able to render a "true" seamless 3-dimensional walkthrough of photographic quality, for any street in the country in a future version.