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Google warned in EU over Street View privacy concerns

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 26 Feb 2010 13:31 User comments (2)

Google warned in EU over Street View privacy concerns Google Inc. has once again run into some trouble in Europe, this time over privacy concerns related to Google's Street View service. Launched in the United States in 2007, Google Street View now adds photos of real-life scenes from cities around the world to Google's maps. To protect privacy, Google utilizes software to blur out faces and license plates.
Now, Google's decision to keep all "unblurred" photographs in storage for a year has been questioned in Europe. The company has also been given suggestions that it should give more advanced warning that one of its Street View vans was going to be in an area.

In a statement, Google said that its year-long retention of original photographs was "legitimate and justified", and said that its website already posts notifications of where Street View cameras will be in operation.

Google's data privacy chief Peter Fleischer was given the suggestions by the head of the EU data protection agencies, Alex Turk, in a letter. EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, also commented that Europe has "high standards for data protection" and that she expected that "all companies play according to the rules of the game."

Last year, Greece told Google to stop its planned coverage of the country's streets until more privacy safeguards are provided. In England, residents of one English village stopped a camera van from operating by forming a human chain to block its entry.

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2 user comments

14.3.2010 12:52

WOW seems Google is trying hard to become big brother. They are buying everything on the net that gather people, they read all gmails, they can access your webcam and mic. WOW

24.3.2010 18:29

I emailed google to remove images of my property from their site.

They think they are helping people, but really you are giving people who rob homes a high tech upper hand on viewing 360 degrees of someones home so they can rob them. This is a burglar dream to view a home and check someone window, door entries, etc.

I read more and more bad things about Google street view maps and never anything good. If I were to see one of their vans or cars with the google camera I would stop them too and call the police for invasion of privacy.

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