Feeds

Street View hits 20 German cities

Partial surrender to Google's all-seeing eye

The essential guide to IT transformation

Twenty German cities yesterday partially surrendered to Google's Street View, as the Great Satan of Mountain View finally rolled out the results of its spymobile invasion.

During extended arm-wrestling with the German authorities, Google agreed to allow citizens to request their properties be blurred before the service went live.

According to Spiegel Online, 244,000 burghers of cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich decided to opt out. Here's a random example, grabbed in Berlin:

Street View grab showing blurred office block in Berlin

Google explains: "In this latest Street View release, we’re also making some improvements to the way we obscure images of houses, cars or people when asked to do so using our 'Report a problem' tool.

"Our new manual blurring process completely blocks out a house, car or person, but no longer cuts out all the surrounding scenery as well, such as a nearby street sign or trees. This enables us to respect requests for removal without blacking out the entire area."

Well, that's not entirely true. Spiegel Online spotted that Google has seriously obliterated its own Munich HQ, in the process taking out some innocent bystanders:

Street View's Munich HQ, completely blurred out

The Lat Long Blog says that this blurtastic new process is available in all Street View locations. It asks concerned people "to use the 'Report a problem' tool and we’ll review all requests promptly".

Spiegel Online says the 244,000 households currently blurred represent just three per cent of the total. That's Google's calculation, and the paper notes "it would seem to be a relatively small figure, especially given the controversy and the fact that some polls showed that more than half of Germans oppose Street View". ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?