Feeds

Street View threatens to throw Eurostrop

Spymobiles to exit EU?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A senior Google exec yesteday suggested that if the company doesn't get its way over Street View data retention, it may stop prowling the European Union's highways and byways.

Speaking to Bloomberg at CeBIT, where Street View has been charming Germans with a fleet of touchy-feely spymobiles, Google Earth founder Michael Jones bemoaned the EU's insistence that original, unblurred Street View images be stored for just six months, rather than 12.

Google has always maintained it needs to keep the pics on file to enable it to respond to privacy-related complaints from the the unwashed masses. However, the head of EU data protection agencies recently described a year as "disproportionate".

Alex Turk also demanded that Google "should always give advance notice on its website and in the local or national press before it takes pictures".

If the EU gets its way, Jones said, then Google "would consider whether we want to drive through Europe again, because it would make the expense so draining".

Jones insisted that the Great Satan of Mountain View can't cut storage times because it "can’t reprocess its data quicker because of software restraints".

He added: “I think that privacy is more important than technology but for privacy people it is only about privacy but for us it is also about technology. We have to be actually able to do what they want us to do. What we want is to have enough time.”

Quite what Google's threat would mean in practice is unclear. Presumably it wouldn't axe Street View across the EU, but rather simply not update or extend the service.

Street View isn't throwing in the towel just yet, though. Regarding Germany, where it has met a certain amount of resistance, Jones said: “I’m not going to quit on Germany. Privacy laws are respected and we give them a great deal of consideration, but I hope we will find a positive way to include Germany and the people of Germany.”

Concessions to the good burghers of Germany include the usual face and numberplate blurring, and a novel pre-launch opt-out service for citizens, which will enable them to request the removal of their property before the service goes live later this year.

Jones hinted at a reason why Google is pandering to the privacy-sensitive Germans, when it usually shoots first and arm-wrestles later: the country is the "number one user of Google Maps in Europe", he noted. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.