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Switzerland's Data Protection Watchdog Wants Street View Disabled 257

glow-in-the-dark writes "The Swiss office for Data Protection has asked Google to turn off Street View within the country because it doesn't meet the conditions demanded when permission was given to go ahead with the photography. Google answered privacy concerns with the following points (I'm translating them from German; here's an automated translation): 'Google will publish in advance where it is going to record the images, so you can act accordingly.' Do they want you to hide? Where is the real obligation here? 'Google has made masking the images of people and car license plates obligatory.' I think this is where trouble starts, because their permission to go ahead appears to have been dependent on how well they did this. I have browsed one particular town as an experiment and was quite quickly able to find unmasked faces. This means that either the algorithm they use doesn't work, or that it is done manually and they've fallen behind (in which case they should not have put up the images). 'Although a picture of a home is generally not covered under Data Protection, Google has agreed to remove them if asked. Follow the same process as removing a person.' I think it wouldn't be half as bad if the pictures weren't taken with a high enough resolution to see inside a house. In short, Google has not been given the easy ride it had in other countries regarding Street View. I actually suspect there is more to come."
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Switzerland's Data Protection Watchdog Wants Street View Disabled

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  • by SebZero ( 1051264 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:39AM (#29155653)
    ... but I'm just not happy with google going around streets and taking pictures of my house, my car, etc. Of course I've put photos up on the internet of the house, the cars, the inside of the house, loved ones - but that's stuff that *I've* posted (and on services that - theoretically - only an elected few can view). It's not illegal in Australia (hell, is it technically illegal anywhere yet?) and I'm sure it fits into google's "do no evil", but while it's not "evil", if an individual person (rather than a computerised camera car) put photos up of my house it's plain creepy. Big cities full of stores, monuments, various points of interest - fine - driving all the way out to where I live and showing the world I've neglected my lawn - not so much.
  • Don't Worry (Score:5, Funny)

    by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @11:39AM (#29155657)
    Google is your friend, so nothing to worry about! Google is your friend!
  • Re:UBS... (Score:2, Funny)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @12:23PM (#29155931)

    So the Swiss government is requiring Google to deny a service to people in Switzerland in retaliation for settlements that will cost Swiss banks hundreds of millions of dollars?

    I'm sure the U.S. government is fine with that.

  • by Ben1220 ( 1503265 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:14AM (#29161593)
    worry? What is there to worry about? If your house being on street view worries you... Then what doesn't? Oh look, someones walking down your street!! They might be a serial killer!! Or worse, Jehovah's Witnesses!!! Run to the bomb shelter!!!

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb