Google calls halt on German Street View
Noseying now verboten
Google has confirmed it will not be collecting any more pictures for its Street View service in Germany.
The decision, taken in light of objections from German privacy regulators, means you can still see images for 20 German cities already covered, but there will be no expansion, or updating of images.
A Google spokesman told us: "As we announced in January, we have no plans to launch new imagery on Street View in Germany at this stage. Our user priority is to use our Google cars to collect data such as street names and road signs to improve our basic maps for our users in a similar way that other mapping companies do.
"Of course, people who enjoy the benefits of Street View will still be able to access imagery from the 20 German cities that we have already launched and in 26 other countries around the world."
The full blog post, in German, is here.
The search and ad giant failed to make its Street View snaps palatable to Germans, despite offering face and number-plate blurring and the option to get your house blurred too if requested.
Federal and national regulators in Germany objected to the service.
Google still needs to convince Czech regulators that the service can continue to expand there without damaging privacy.
It failed to register as a data controller in the Czech Republic, and data protection authorities also complained that the height of the Street View cameras gave a view onto people's property well beyond those normally accessible from the street. ®
If it's high res, then yes
"According to German law it is not permissible to violate the protected privacy of a person by means of photographs from airplanes or helicopters. (BGH, verdict from 9 December 2003, AZ: VI ZR 373/02, - aerial photographs of a holiday house)" (source: Wikipedia, my translation)
Germany won't stop them, but ...
Germany won't stop Google, but Google has made the sensible decision to stop photographing in a country where its service is clearly (mostly) not wanted. I'd like to see Google invest more money on Street View for streets here in the U.S. Most of our rural area imagery, and even that for some of our cities and large towns, is horribly low resolution.
This whole streetview thing gives me the creeps. To google's credit, once I told them to eff off, they soon removed all the pictures of my house and garden.