German Privacy Officials Push Back on Google Street View

Lora Bentley
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Six Privacy Principles Google Forgot


Google's getting grief over Street View again, but from a different part of the world this time.


Tuesday, South Korean Police raided Google's offices looking for evidence that its wi-fi "snooping" violated the law. Now, German privacy officials aren't too happy that the search giant has given business owners a four-week deadline by which they must opt out of Street View if they don't want their buildings to show up on the mapping service.


Bloomberg reports:

Google...said it would introduce Street View in the 20 biggest German cities, including Berlin, Bonn and Munich, "by the end of the year." Property owners in the cities have a month, starting next week, to register to use an online tool making their buildings unrecognizable.

Hamburg's data protection regulator, Johannes Caspar, said Google's choice to introduce the "objection tool" so quickly and to not provide an easy means for complaints or questions, "create doubts about Google's interest in a simple and user-friendly implementation."


Peter Schaar, Germany's federal data protection commissioner, won't take no for an answer, however. Not only must a means of collecting consumer complaints be available "at all times," all complaints and concerns must be addressed before Street View begins, he said in a recent blog post.


According to Bloomberg, Google representatives in Germany were unavailable for comment.

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