Feeds

Germans resist Street View invasion of privacy

Delete suspect images, Google told

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google's all-seeing Street View is attempting to convince German authorities that it should be allowed to retain "partially censored images" which Hamburg and 15 other states want purged from the search monolith's databases.

Google has been negotiating over Germany's privacy laws which "generally restrict photographs of people and property except in very public situations, such as a sporting event, without a person's consent", as IDG News Service puts it.

The company had until yesterday to agree to 12 privacy assurances, but one point remained sticky: "Partially censored images where Google has blurred items such as license plates or peoples' faces". German data protection authorities confirmed 300 compaints from citizens on the receiving end of the Orwellian black Opels, presumably without the benefit of Street View's ID-protecting algorithm.

Google claimed its blurring tech is "99 per cent accurate" - an assertion it has previously conceded is "a figure of speech" - but suggested it needed to keep the offending images on its databases "since the blurring technology is self-learning and needs more data to improve".

The authorities are unconvinced and want the images ditched.

The bottom line is that if an agreement can't be reached, Google could be fined. Johannes Caspar, head of the Hamburg area data protection agency, warned: "We should not give them the option to take these pictures if they are not willing to follow German laws."

Google said in a statement: "After positive discussions with the German Data Protection Authorities we have made good progress towards finding solutions to their concerns about Street View."

Google's claim that keeping the offending images on its servers will ultimately benefit individual privacy is a nice touch, but somewhat short of the sheer audacity displayed by Larry Page who earlier this week doomwatched that if the company isn't allowed to retain search data for more than six months, then an avian SARS pig plague ebola pandemic apocalypse will destroy all life on Earth. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.