Feeds

Street View in (kind of) Swiss roll-over

Agrees to extra blurring, but no more

High performance access to file storage

Google has agreed to a demand that it apply extra blur to faces and number plates to its Street View service in Switzerland, but has refused to lower the height of its car-mounted spycams.

Street View launched in Switzerland in mid-August, and the country's head of federal data protection, Hans-Peter Thür, was quickly rattling the privacy sabre claiming that "many faces and car registration plates were clearly visible or were insufficiently obscured".

He ordered the service offline - something which didn't actually happen - and Google agreed to apply extra blur where required.

This didn't satisfy Thür, who then mandated extra blur, and said there were still "many problem pictures that did not respect anonymity, particularly in private roads and gardens". He also ordered Google to "pay particular attention to blurring such places as hospitals, schools and prisons".

The Great Satan of Mountain View described itself as "very disappointed" at the additional instructions, and has now apparently decided enough is enough. It has declined to lower the spycams to protect people's gardens from visual violation, saying that doing so would "bring the camera closer to pedestrians".

Whether this is making a stand on principle or merely a way of trying to avoid reshooting Switzerland remains to be seen. In Japan, it was forced to completely recapture all the data seized by its all-seeing eyes following a wave of complaints.

In that case, it did indeed drop the cameras from 2.45 metres - "just over the height of garden walls and so on" - to 2.05 metres. A Google spokesman admitted: "Japan's housing environment contains many narrow streets and low walls, and we didn't take that into consideration."

Back in Switzerland, Thür has previously said he will drag the matter before the Swiss Federal Administrative Court if Google refuses to roll over. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.