Google Headed To Swiss Court Over Street View

    November 13, 2009

The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner of Switzerland, Hanspeter Thür

, still isn’t happy with Google.  Thür

has argued that the Street View program doesn’t do enough to protect individuals’ identities, and despite receiving a concession or two, is now taking Google to court.

Street View was introduced in Switzerland about three months ago.  Roughly one week later, Thür

complained that certain faces and license plates weren’t indistinct enough.  He met with Peter Fleischer, Google’s Global Privacy Counsel, Google agreed to make portions of its photos blurrier, and the problem was resolved.  Or so we thought.

It turns out that Thür

also objected to the height from which images had been taken, arguing that a normal person wouldn’t have the same vantage point.  He felt that people in more rural areas could be identified even if their faces weren’t visible, too.

So, as announced in a formal statement, Thür

"has decided to take the matter further and to take legal action before the Federal Administrative Court."  According to the BBC, Thür

wants a tribunal to make Google immediately take down all Swiss Street View images, as well (since the case won’t start or end soon).

This situation could have a big impact on how other countries respond to Street View in the future.

Related Articles:

> Google Street View Hits Hawaii, Mexico

> Street View Coverage Of Two More Countries Goes Live

> Street View: Soon With More Blurriness