Friday, August 24, 2007

Google Maps and Privacy

According to the latest post from Out-Law news, google maps are changing its privacy policy on its street view. This follows concerns about photographs of streets showing people's faces, car number plates and views of their houses. However, the subject of photographs and maps is particularly relevant when considering this as "personal data" under the Data Protection Directive - as I have noted in previous blog posts, this concept can be quite broad. However, one should note that protection personal information is not absolute and a proportionate response will need to be taken. A further point to add is that Art. 9 of the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC on artistic, literary and journalistic purposes may still apply (consider the national data protection laws of each Member State). I have written on this in my thesis (still yet to be published), but for those researching this area, the Commission's report on the transposition of the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC is a good starting point.

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