The back-and-forth over Street View in Germany has been fierce at times, with one Google representative recently hinting that the company intended to move forward as long as German authorities didn't draft laws against the program. But now Google's given in a bit, offering people a way to keep their properties out of Street View from the start.
Apparently Google decided a confrontation wasn't in its best interest. Whether that's due to a fear of defeat or simply for PR reasons is hard to say, but according to Joe Fagle, Google's chief technology advocate declared during a German press conference, "Google is not an invader of countries."
The Googler in question, Michael Jones, also said something to the effect that his company isn't engaged in battle with privacy advocates, and is instead learning from them.
As for the actual concession, Fagle reported that Google is "giving people the chance to send in their addresses so that they can have their houses excluded from the service at launch, and have their dwellings deleted from the raw data."
And finally, Google admitted that the opt-out process hasn't been automated yet, signaling the degree to which it's playing this by ear.