Feeds

EU rattles sabre at Street View

Warn people you're coming, Google told

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The head of EU data protection agencies has told Google it must warn people of the impending arrival of its Orwellian Street View spymobiles.

According to AP, Alex Turk has written to Google's data privacy chief Peter Fleischer insisting that it "should always give advance notice on its website and in the local or national press before it takes pictures".

It must also avoid capturing snaps "of a sensitive nature and those containing intimate details not normally observable by a passer-by".

Furthermore, Turk is not impressed with Street View's "disproportionate" data retention policy, and wants all original unblurred Street View material deleted after six months.

Google defended that it already posts info as to where it's snooping. Citizens on the risk list today include the good burghers of Maidenhead, Vienna and Johannesburg.

Regarding the data retention issue, Google last year grudgingly agreed to an EU demand to delete original unblurred images, but was evasive about exactly when, insisting they were essential "to deal with any potential concerns from individuals who might feature incidentally on the Street View imagery".

Fleischer agreed that "long term we only keep the blurred copy of Street View panoramas, and we will work with them and our engineers to determine the shortest retention period that also allows for legitimate use under EU laws".

Google's standard approach to Street View privacy concerns is to shoot first and negotiate later with individual countries. Finland, Germany, Greece and the UK are the EU members who've locked swords with the service, while the Swiss are waging their own private war on the spymobiles.

In the case of Finland, Street View caused a bit of a rumpus when an elevated spycam snapped a man with his pants down, even though he was behind a fence in his own garden. In Japan, Google received numerous complaints about footage captured from a camera poised "just over the height of garden walls and so on".

Google agreed to lower the cameras, and reshoot the 12 Japanese cities already covered. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.