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.
Let’s talk about the product launch first. Matthias Kremp reported earlier, "Google announced Tuesday that it is in the final stages before the launch of its Street View service in the country. When it goes live in the coming months, Street View services will initially be provided for 20 cities . . ."
As for the new privacy feature, Kremp later continued, "Starting next Wednesday, the company has said the people can submit requests that pictures of their buildings be blurred out. Applicants must visit a special Google web page and submit their name and address. . . . Residents who submit their requests are sent a letter by mail with a confirmation code that they must then enter into the special Google website in order to confirm that they actually live at the address they have submitted."
This may not go over well with a lot of people; after all, it’s a somewhat complicated process that involves providing information to the company they’re trying to evade.
Google presumably feels the approach will stand up to any legal objections, though, and it’s been designed to keep individuals from making whole neighborhoods (or, say, a competitor’s shop) invisible on a whim.
What should be interesting to see is if the process will be introduced in other countries in response to different protests.