Germany gets new privacy tool from Google

Germany gets new privacy tool from Google

Summary: Google Street View in Germany now shows blurred out houses and buildings, like they already do with faces and license plates. The tool that lets a user remove their property from the Street View can be found here, but you better get there fast since it's available for a limited time only.

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TOPICS: Google, CXO
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Google Street View in Germany now shows blurred out houses and buildings, like they already do with faces and license plates. The tool that lets a user remove their property from the Street View can be found here, but you better get there fast since it's available for a limited time only.

Basically you fill in a form, and use a map to pin-point the building you want removed from Google -- doing this will ensure your privacy.

I have two questions about this:

1) Since we know this tool now exists, and is completely possible, why can't we use it in any country?

2) Why is it a limited time only?

This seems like a feature that should be widely available, and without an expiration period. What do you think?

Topics: Google, CXO

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4 comments
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  • my guess..

    1) because only Germany has complained about it so don't fix it if it ain't broken

    2) probably because it is beta and they want to test-drive it, see how it works, and then decide what to do next. Pilot programs never fail, proposed solutions can. So it is like a way to do something without much risk.
    patibulo
  • Google and privacy

    Should never be used in the same sentence. They offset each other.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Germany gets new privacy tool from Google

    I'm not worried about street view. If someone sees a non-current image of my property, I don't care at this time. I definitely have no interest in taking a random googlewalk in the neighborhoods of Germany. The Germans are safe from prying eyes. We can all rest easy now.
    opcom
  • German Angst

    "Google Street View in Germany now shows blurred out houses and buildings, like they already do with faces and license plates."
    That's incorrect / misleading: Streetview still isn't available in Germany.

    In all those countries where Streetview is available, you can remove your house using the existing report-button.

    What's new in Germany is that there's such a FUD-induced hysteria that politicians demanded an option to remove houses *before* Streetview was ever launched.

    Even though there's no legal obligation to do so, Google gave it to them (already possible in writing since May 2009). But of course it's an incredible amount of manual work to comply with these tens of thousands of removal demands. The 20 cities which are scheduled to be shown in Streetview before the end of this year were photographed in 2008. It's a bit frustrating.

    Concerning privacy, the face of any property which is visible from public space is not protected under privacy laws, neither in Germany (where even people and copyrighted stuff may be photographed under "Panoramafreiheit") nor anywhere else I know (not even in Britain with their zealous policemen).

    Also, similar services like sightwalk.de or the aerial view of bing maps were allowed without any of these complaints.
    7eco