Google pledges more blurring in Switzerland

September 2, 2009
A Google Street View camera on top of a car at the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in March, 2009. German authorities demanded Wednesday that US Internet giant Google bolster its privacy protection measures before it offers pictures of German city streets on its popular Street View service.

(AP) -- Google Inc. said Wednesday its Street View service will blur some pictures from Switzerland even more after a Swiss official said the images were violating the country's strict privacy laws.

The blurring of people's faces and license numbers will be significantly improved, said Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel.

The company has worked hard to fulfill demands by the Swiss data protection official, Fleischer told reporters in a telephone conference.

"Google is convinced that Street View is completely legal," he added.

Street View lets people view street-level pictures over the Internet. Since launching in 2007, it has expanded to more than 100 cities worldwide but has faced privacy complaints from many individuals and institutions that have been photographed.

Fleischer said Switzerland's Federal Data Protection Commissioner, Hanspeter Thuer, is now assessing Google's proposals. Thuer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last week, Thuer demanded that Google take off the Internet any images of Switzerland because he said it was failing to obscure people's identities on the and was therefore in breach with laws.

Many faces and license numbers in the service weren't blurred or were done so inadequately, he said. Thuer subsequently met with to discuss the problem.

Fleischer said the changes in the images of faces will first be introduced in Switzerland and subsequently in other countries.

License numbers will only be more blurred in Switzerland because the letters and numbers are bigger than on other countries' license plates, he said, adding that the improvements can be done within a few weeks.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Swiss official tells Google to erase street views

Related Stories

Swiss official tells Google to erase street views

August 24, 2009

(AP) -- A Swiss government official is demanding that Google Inc. immediately take off the Internet any "Street View" images of Switzerland, and the company said Monday it would work to resolve problems with the privacy ...

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 for processing.

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.

Recommended for you

Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

August 23, 2017

Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released ...

Newest solar cells underperform in cloudy countries

August 22, 2017

To determine how efficient new solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, small sample cells are tested under ideal conditions. However, the reported efficiency is not very representative of the actual annual yield when ...

Google to serve next version of Android as 'Oreo"

August 22, 2017

An upcoming update to Google's Android software finally has a delectable name. The next version will be known as Oreo, extending Google's tradition of naming each version after a sweet treat.

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

August 16, 2017

Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

August 15, 2017

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today's ...

0 comments

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.