Germans resist Street View invasion of privacy
Delete suspect images, Google told
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. ®
"Whatever you do in public is public. Period."
Not in Germany, it isn't.
In one of his "Fifth Column" pieces in "Autosport", F1 journo Nigel Roebuck told the tale of Herr X, who attended the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim some time in the early 1980s. Frau X, watching the proceedings on the Wireless With Pictures at home, was surprised to see Herr X in the grandstand, and doubly surprised to observe that seated next to him was Fraulein Y. A miffed Frau X consulted her solicitor and in fairly short order Herr X found himself both single and considerably poorer.
Whereupon he sued the TV company for being responsible for his plight
The following year, race tickets had a disclaimer on the back, stating "if you get caught it's YOUR fault, not ours".
When I relate this tale to The Woman Formerly Known As Mrs Larrington (who is German) she was astonished that anyone would find this in any way odd.
Additional: Peter Thomas should be aware that under forthcoming anti-turrism laws, taking photos inside your own home may be very illegal if the subject contains one or more of the following:
o empty Lucozade™ bottles
o the Daily Telegraph™
o life-size cardboard figures of Mahmoud Ahmadinnerjacket
o anything else that Wacqui Jacqui dreams up while in the bath (please pass the Mind Bleach™)
Whatever you do in public...
is public. Period.
Get over it.
Whatever you do in the privacy of your home, is your business and should remain private, despite wacky Jackboot's (& co.) best efforts of establishing a British STASI.
proto bourgeois "resurgence"
the difference between file sharing and privacy is only a skip away.... if they don't comply with laws their internet presence should be blocked at the isp level, as some" three strikes rules" have recently been initiated against users at the isp level. once again, different rules for corporations.... like a "fine" is going to deter this type of illegal action... unless it starts getting into the millions and effects public stock prices and public profits... then onto network media where such disparities should be developed.