Feeds

Street View hits 20 German cities

Partial surrender to Google's all-seeing eye

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.