Magazine article Information Management

Google, EU Argue over Street View

Magazine article Information Management

Google, EU Argue over Street View

Article excerpt


European Union privacy regulators have ordered Google to warn citizens before taking pictures of their neighborhood for its Street View maps service and said it should retain those images for only six months.

These instructions were included in a letter from the head of EU data protection agencies, Alex Turk, to Google's data privacy chief, Peter Fleischer, according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy. In response, Google said it has a "legitimate and justified" need to retain Street View images for one year. The company also said it posts notifications on its website about where its Street View cameras will be taking pictures, and it blocks out faces and license plates.

While some countries in Europe, such as France and Britain, have accepted Google's Street View photo-mapping technology, others, including Switzerland and Germany, have rejected it on privacy grounds.

The New York Times reported that German data protection officials had argued that Street View would breach data privacy laws, but they dropped their resistance last year after Google agreed not to disclose details, such as faces, license plates, and house numbers, by using pixilation.

It also agreed to let citizens choose whether to remove their property from the Street View archive. …

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