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Street View Articles

Google Gets OK To Delete UK Street View WiFi Data
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At least in the UK, Google may finally be able to put its recent Street View privacy gaffe behind it.  The company’s signed a commitment to improve its handling of data, and as a result, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has given Google permission to delete the sensitive information it collected by accident.

FCC Acknowledges Google Street View Investigation

Google’s winning streak with respect to the Street View privacy breach might be coming to an end.  Although the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission let the company off the hook, the Federal Communications Commission confirmed this week that it’s started looking into the matter.

Google Street View Debuts In Germany
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Google’s had a difficult time launching Street View in Germany; over the past two years, there have been random outcries, more formal protests, and a first-of-its-kind opt-out program.  Finally, though, Google’s made it possible to drag Pegman over the country and view at least a few spots from the perspective of a pedestrian.

This move doesn’t constitute a full launch; the first batch of photographs just covers the town of Oberstaufen, a handful of traditional landmarks (including Berlin’s Victory Column and a public square in Dresden), and ten sports stadiums.

FTC Ends Google Street View WiFi Inquiry
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At least where one controversy and a single group of U.S. regulators is concerned, Google is off the hook.  Today, the Federal Trade Commission weighed in on the company’s collection of sensitive data sent over WiFi networks, and the organization announced that it would drop its inquiry.

244,000 Germans Opt Out Of Street View
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Street View has at times seemed doomed in Germany, with politicians, privacy advocates, and lots of private citizens protesting the program.  Fewer than 250,000 people opted out when given the chance, however, which from Google’s perspective, is something of a victory.

Granted, 250,000 is a very large number, and Google’s only counted opt-outs from 20 cities in which it’ll soon launch Street View.  The trick is that opinion polls had indicated half (or more) of Germans didn’t like the idea of the program.

Spain Weighs $3.3M Fine For Street View Data Gaffe
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For better or for worse, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection isn’t ready to forgive Google for collecting sensitive WiFi data along with Street View photos.  Indeed, it’s moved its investigation forward in a big way, starting a process that might result in fines totaling $3.3 million.

Street View Set To Cover All Seven Continents
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Sometime today, Street View fans should be able to take in sights on all seven continents for the first time ever.  Coverage of Brazil and Antarctica will make this possible, and images of Ireland are supposed to become available, to boot.

Google Street View Stopped Again By Czechs

Data protection officials in the Czech Republic said Wednesday they would not give Google a new license for collecting data for its Street View service because its cameras are too tall.

“Google uses a camera that is positioned at a height of 2.7 meters. This impinges in an invasive fashion on the privacy of citizens, and that’s what they’ve been filing complaints about,” said Igor Nemec, director of the Office for Personal Data Protection (UOOU).

Germans Reject Street View In Large Numbers
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Anyone who’s been looking forward to browsing Google Street View images of Germany should prepare to encounter lots of blank or ultra-blurry spots.  A report’s indicated that hundreds of thousands of Germans may have taken advantage of an opt-out process that Google made available.

Czechs Put Google Street View On Hold

Czech privacy officials said Tuesday they have stopped Google from gathering new images to update its Street View mapping service.

Street-View The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection (UOOU) turned down for a second time Google’s application to collect personal information in the central European country of 10.5 million, saying the process could break the law.

NZ Police Clear Google In Street View Scandal

When it comes to Street View and the collection of sensitive WiFi data, Google is, at least to some degree, safe from serious penalties in New Zealand.  A police investigation has determined that the company didn’t violate any laws.

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff referred the matter to police in June, which seemed to put Google in a precarious position.  Logic dictated that Shroff wouldn’t call in law enforcement for no reason, after all.

Spanish Judge Accelerates Street View Probe

A lawsuit that was filed against Google in Spain two months ago is starting to pay off – at least for the organization that filed it.  Now Google’s been called before a judge due to the way in which Street View cars collected sensitive WiFi data while taking pictures.

Obviously, this isn’t good news for Google.  Aside from the fact that the case is still active at all, the speed at which things are moving forward is a little disconcerting.

Google To Move Ahead With Street View In Germany
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Various complaints and privacy laws have in one sense failed to deter Google.  Today, the company made known that it will still roll out Street View in Germany, but it will also make an extra blurring option available to citizens who don’t want their homes or businesses to be visible.

Korean Police Raid Google’s Offices Over Street View
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In spite of the apologies Google’s issued and the corrective actions the company’s taken, Google’s Street View-related problems appear to be growing worse, not going away.  Earlier today, Korean authorities raided its local offices in connection with the case.

Microsoft Previews Street Slide Product

Privacy issues aside, it’s hard to complain too much about products like Bing Streetside and Google Street View, considering such tools were until recently nonexistent.  But Microsoft has previewed its next-generation mapping tool, dubbed Street Slide, and it promises to up the ante in several ways.

UK Authority Clears Google Street View Data

There’s a bit of good news for Google this morning in relation to the Street View data collection clash.  The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office announced that it’s had a look at some of the data, and the organization is inclined to believe that no harm will come of Google’s mistake.

Connecticut AG Presses Google Over Street View
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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter today on behalf of 38 states to Google asking it if it had tested its Street View software before using it.

Spanish Lawsuit Joins Stack Against Google
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Google’s collection of sensitive WiFi data sent over personal networks will cause the company problems for a long time if a group with a long name has its way.  The Association for the Prevention and Investigation of Crime, Abuse and Malpractice in Information Technology and Advanced Communications has filed a lawsuit in Spain.

Google Named In Class Action Suit Over Street View
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Google has been named in a new class action lawsuit filed by Carp Law Offices on behalf of Galaxy Internet Services and it WiFi users in Massachusetts.

The suit is focused on the collection and storage of WiFi information by Google’s Street View team. The suit alleges Google had covert packet sniffing WiFi receivers to help gather data on WiFi users. The suit says the practice is in violation of both federal privacy laws and Massachusetts’s new data privacy law.

Advocacy Group Critical Of Google Street View

Google is being criticized by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog for gathering private information from WiFi networks in Germany via its Street View cars.

The gathering of private information surfaced because the German government raised concerns about Google’s data collection leading the company to audit its practices.

Google Comes Clean About Wi-Fi Network Data Collection
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Google opened up in a blog post today confirming that they have been collecting data from Wi-Fi networks with their Google Maps Street View Cars as they have driven around. This is a subject that has been brought up, but in a recent blog post Google said that it had not been collecting "payload data", but is now saying that it actually has been.