Google bows to pressure for German Street View

Jun 17, 2009
Google has bowed to demands in Germany to do more to protect people's privacy
Visitors stand in front of Google logos at a fair in 2007. Google has bowed to demands in Germany to do more to protect people's privacy ahead of the launch of its Street View service here, officials said on Wednesday.

Google has bowed to demands in Germany to do more to protect people's privacy ahead of the launch of its Street View service here, officials said on Wednesday.

Street View, available for cities in the United States, Japan, Australia and in some parts of Europe, allows users to view panoramic still photos at street level, with the faces of passers-by and car number plates blurred out.

But German officials waned it to also make people, their cars and their homes unidentifiable in the raw data held on record -- but not published on the Internet -- by the company.

Google has now agreed to do so, provided that people apply for their faces or number plates to be blocked out, said Johannes Caspar, the top data protection official in Hamburg, where Google Germany is based.

"Google has used the opportunity in good time to agree to our compromise proposal on all points," Caspar said in a statement. "Originally we wanted them to agree to block out in all its raw data but we are happy with this result."

He added that although there was no way of verifying what happens to the raw data once it is at Google headquarters in the United States, he "fully expects" the firm to live up to its promises.

"" has also hit problems in other European countries.

Greece last month barred from taking any more photographs on the nation's streets until it disclosed how long it intends to keep the images and what steps it is taking to alert residents liable to be photographed.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Germany to Google: Erase raw street-level images

May 20, 2009

(AP) -- A data protection official for Germany said Wednesday that Google had yet to meet a key request that photos gathered for its panoramic mapping service be erased after they are sent to the United States ...

Greece bars Google's Street View pending details

May 11, 2009

Greece's data protection agency Monday barred Google from taking any more images on the nation's streets for its Street View feature, pending "additional information" from the US search engine service.

Google to reshoot street views of Japanese cities

May 14, 2009

(AP) -- Google said Wednesday it will reshoot all photos in Japan for its Street View service after residents complained the 360-degree panoramic images provided a view over the fences around their homes.

Google removes street images over privacy complaints

Mar 20, 2009

US software giant Google said Friday it had removed several images from its Street View software, which allows web surfers to view parts of 25 British cities, after users raised privacy concerns.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

10 hours ago

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

10 hours ago

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

16 hours ago

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.