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Street View applies extra blur to Swiss

Complaints force Mountain View to revisit mountain views

Google has agreed to apply extra blurring to faces and number plates on Street View in Switzerland, following some privacy sabre-rattling from the country's head of federal data protection.

Soon after the service went live in Switzerland earlier this month, Hans-Peter Thür ordered it to be shut down on the grounds that "many faces and car registration plates were clearly visible or were insufficiently obscured".

Following a meeting between Thür and the Great Satan of Mountain View, Google's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, has now promised "significant improvement" in in the blurring.

According to AP, over the next few weeks, Google will first further obscure people's faces - something Fleischer said would subsequently be done in other countries already visited by Street View's all-seeing eye.

In the case of number plates, extra blurring will be applied only in Switzerland, "because the letters and numbers are bigger than on other countries' licence plates", as Fleischer clarified.

Thür has apparently retreated to his data protection bunker to ponder Google's proposals. At time of writing, Swiss Street View is still available, but we'd advise those of you wishing to take a last look at the country's inadequately-blurred burghers to get in there sharpish. ®

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