Germany steels itself for Google Street View

Google is preparing to set Street View live in Germany, after getting opt-out requests from almost a quarter of a million households.Promising a "couple of nice surprises" in the launch, which does not yet have a date, Andreas Türk, the product manager for Street View in Germany, said in a Thursday blog post that 244,237 opt-out letters has been received, representing 2.

Google is preparing to set Street View live in Germany, after getting opt-out requests from almost a quarter of a million households.

Promising a "couple of nice surprises" in the launch, which does not yet have a date, Andreas Türk, the product manager for Street View in Germany, said in a Thursday blog post that 244,237 opt-out letters has been received, representing 2.89 percent of all the German households that might have been shown. When the service goes live in the country, it will put online street-level imagery covering the 20 largest German cities.

According to Der Spiegel, Google had to hire an extra 200 staff in Germany to blur out sections of its Street View images, in accordance with the opt-out requests. However, the newspaper suggested that the number of requests received by Google fell short of those that might have been expected after the company announced the rollout in August.

That news had been greeted by polls suggesting a slight majority of Germans objected to their properties being shown in the service, and a warning in the Handelsblatt that "Google knows more about you and me than the KGB, Stasi or Gestapo ever dreamed of".

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