Feeds

Street View in (kind of) Swiss roll-over

Agrees to extra blurring, but no more

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.