Google Keeping Street View Reined In Europe

    July 7, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Google’s camera cars may be prowling the streets of London now, prompting criticism from privacy advocates and a defensive response from the search advertising company.

The relentless efforts of Google’s rolling photographic fleet may satisfy the curiosity of people who have never ventured abroad, in providing a street-level look at cities like London. But privacy concerns likely mean the faces of those captured by the camera cars won’t be part of the package.

The BBC said Simon Davies of Privacy International complained that privacy laws would be breached if Google’s Street View shows faces of people. Google said it won’t do that.

“We tested the technology thoroughly before launch and I am confident that it finds and blurs the vast majority of identifiable faces and license plates,” Google’s Jane Horvath said in a response to Davies; the BBC published the response on their blog.

“For the few that we miss, the tools within the product make it easy for users to report a face or license plate for extra blurring,” she said.

Europe will receive a consideration at launch that US citizens received belatedly from Google’s Street View service. Anyone who wishes to people-watch on the Continent through Street View will want to opt for a plane ticket instead.