Switzerland Says “No Thanks, We’ll Sue You” To Google Street View

by Klaus on November 16, 2009

in Google, Tech News

google_logoGoogle started shooting pictures of the streets in Switzerland this summer for their Google Street View service. The local authorities didn’t like that one bit (no pun intended) and the Swiss commissioner for federal data protection, Hanspeter Thür, told Google to stop whatever they were doing!

Google didn’t obey the request and continued their drive-by-shooting. Now Hanspeter Thür intends to sue Google, to make them stop.

The Swiss has a very strict personal data protection act which, according to Thür, Google does not do enough to keep up with. For instance, Google uses software to blur faces on the pictures, but the software is not 100% effective.

What Thür wants, is for Google to blur all faces, license plates, remove pictures of closed gardens and private roads as well as warning citizens in the neighborhood 1 week in advance when Google intend to drive by to take pictures.

Google is working on a better version for face recognition and blurring.

More information: Swiss privacy watchdog to sue Google Street View.

I wouldn’t want to miss more of those pictures so I hope Switzerland will let Google continue shooting: Top 10 Moments Caught on Google Maps Street View.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alan @ Basin Glass Co. November 17, 2009 at 05:59

Timely post Klaus :) I was actually having an argument with a friend the other day about this. He was trying to convince me that street view was done by angling satellites and I tried to explain to him that it must be a clunky old Google van with a camera on top going by to take pictures. So I don’t feel like an idiot for once thanks to you!!
That being said, you have to admire the Swiss, not only do they have the highest standards of living, but they also have produced my hero Marc Faber and at the same time are not about to let any Giant corporation tell them what to do. I personally think it’s a bit creepy seeing your house, your car, etc. on display for everyone, whats the point. Canada and the US should learn from the swiss on this one.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 17, 2009 at 10:11

I agree that it can be quite creepy. I haven’t seen anything of my own with Street View yet, but I have on Google Maps with sattelites.

There’s no doubt that the Street View pictures are taken by a van with a bunch of tech on top, so you just tell him that. Here’s a picture of one of those used in Denmark already: http://twitpic.com/3ayzk

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Adrian Gonzalez November 19, 2009 at 16:26

I like the one picture where the girl flashed the photographers.
.-= Adrian Gonzalez´s last blog ..The Troll Bridge =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:43

Yeah, she’s got some cojones – or lack of intelligence. I don’t know which.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..iPhone iPod Bug & How To Fall Asleep Fast And Efficient With Megan Fox =-.

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Rich Kent May 3, 2011 at 18:48

While Street View is useful, I completely agree that it’s invasive. They drove by my moms house and you can see her out front working in her garden. Not a big deal I suppose, but I wouldn’t want a picture of me in dirty clothes visible to the world!
Rich Kent recently posted… One Hour Backlinks Review

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