Data privacy regulators in the European Union have told Google that they need to warn people before sending cameras out into cities to take pictures for its Street View maps. They also suggested that the company reduce the amount of time they keep the original images to 6 months (currently these are kept for 1 year).
In a statement, Google said its need to retain Street View images for one year is “legitimate and justified,” and that they already post notification on their Web site about where its Street View cameras are clicking. Additionally, in an effort to reduce privacy concerns, Google Street View now uses special software to blur pictures of faces and car license plates.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that Europe had “high standards for data protection” and that she expected that “all companies play according to the rules of the game.”
This isn’t the first time Google’s Street View has raised ire in Europe. Last April, a human chain was formed in one English village to stop Google’s camera van. Also last year, Greece told Google to halt plans of photographing Greek streets until better privacy safeguards are provided, Germany demanded that Google erase footage of faces, house numbers, license plates and individuals who have told authorities they do not want their information used in the service, and the Swiss Sued Google over Street View Functionality.
If YOU find Street view invasive, read my blog How to Remove Images of Your Home from Google’s Street View
Tags: data privacy, internet safety, EU, Google,