Feeds

Street View hits 20 German cities

Partial surrender to Google's all-seeing eye

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.
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?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.