Monday, July 07, 2008

Google Street View

Having had to take a break from blogging, Google Street - views raises more unusual privacy issues (not least data protection). Out-Law has the latest press release:

A privacy pressure group has told Google that its Street View photography service will break the law. But the company says that its technical measures will safeguard people's privacy.

Street View allows users of Google's maps to view 360 degree photographs of streetscapes in towns and cities that have been catalogued by Google cameras. The company's distinctive cars with cameras attached were spotted on the streets of London for the first time last week.

Pressure group Privacy International wrote to Google's senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath last week to explain its reservations. "You may be aware that Privacy International has stated, both privately to Google legal staff and to the media, that we are concerned about a number of potential violations of national law that this technology may create," wrote Simon Davies of Privacy International.

Davies said that if Google did not satisfy him that it had taken great enough account of users' privacy he would complain about the service to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Google, though, has implemented blurring technology in order to protect the identities of people and vehicles pictured. The technology blurs faces and vehicle number plates allowing high quality images to contain indistinct people and number plates.

Horvath has written back to Davies explaining that the face and number plate blurring technology has been in place since May. Though she conceded that it is not perfect, she said that it does protect privacy.

Source: Out-Law news


NovaLoca said...

Never mind Google, we have Street Level View already, check out....

NovaLoca said...

Never mind Google, we have Street Level View already, check out....