Google Street View Faces Scrutiny In Germany

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Google said Wednesday it had met demands by German privacy watchdogs over its Street View service, which offers photographs of buildings in cities taken from street level.

Johannes Caspar, who heads the data protection agency for the Hamburg area, had given Google a Wednesday deadline to allow property owners to opt out of being photographed for Street View.

Caspar also raised concerns over Street View only partially blurring people’s faces, allowing them to still be identifiable.

Google has stressed Street View has a reporting system that allows people to request an image of them be removed along with their homes.  Google’s policy is to remove such images as quickly as possible.

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Google said it is working with German data protection officials to find a resolution to the issues.

"After positive discussions with the German Data Protection Authorities we have made good progress towards finding solutions to their concerns about Street View," Google said in a statement.

Privacy concerns over Street View erupted last week in both Greece and Japan.

"As with many cutting-edge technologies, the challenge we face with Street View is striking the right balance between building a sophisticated and highly useful tool while ensuring that the data we collect to provide these services is used appropriately," the company said in a blog post.


Google Street View Faces Scrutiny In Germany
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