Google Street View Given Nod In UK

"Adequate safeguards" pave way for release

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Any people wanting to explore Britain from the comfort of their office chairs are in luck; the Information Commissioner’s Office has concluded that Google Street View doesn’t create any real privacy problems.

A fear of getting sued or even charged with a crime is what seems to have kept Street View from spreading to Europe.  Google’s introduced face- and license plate-blurring technology, though, and this helped it pass the ICO inspection.


"We are satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals . . . . [I]t is clear that Google are keen to capture images of streets and not individuals," acknowledged an ICO statement.  "Further there is an easy mechanism by which individuals can report an image that causes them concern to Google and request that it is removed."

Not all issues have been resolved; Chris Williams points out some unhappiness on the part of Privacy International, for example.  Also, since Google’s cars are still active in the area, it’s possible Google will want to keep UK Street View images to itself for a while longer.

All in all, however, we don’t expect much time will pass before Google releases pictures of at least a few regions, and we believe a lot of people will be happy when that finally occurs.

Google Street View Given Nod In UK
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