Germans want their homes unrecognizable on Google Street View

by Liam Britten

We reported yesterday that Google was in hot water here in Canada over their Street View program, but it looks like they’re running into problems in Germany as well.

Street View is set to debut next month in Germany’s 20 largest cities, but over 244,000 Germans have asked Google to make their homes “unrecognizable” when viewed on street view — representing about three per cent of the homes in those cities. Germany is the only country where citizens could request their homes be unrecognizable on Street View.

From the Associated Press:

"The high number of objections to Google Street View shows that citizens want to decide which data about themselves is published on the Internet," said Peter Schaar, the head of Germany's data protection watchdog.

German authorities had demanded that Google allow citizens to request the homes not be pictured in Street View, insisting that posting images of private residences on the Internet violated individual privacy.

As in Canada, Google is in trouble for capturing information on unsecured Wi-Fi networks during the mapping of European streets. Google is the subject of a probe in Spain regarding the matter, and could be fined up to 2.4 million euros if found guilty.

Google has said that once Street View goes online in Germany, a system will be in place to request an address be made unrecognizable.

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's... more

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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