There’s a good reason why you can’t yet get Google Maps’ new Street Views for locations in Canada–they’d likely break Canadian laws on privacy.
According to Reuters, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart wrote to Google in early August asking for more details on Street Views.
Canadian law obliges businesses wishing to disclose personal information about individuals to first obtain their consent. Stoddart said pictures of people on Street View were clear enough to be considered personal information.
“The images … appear to have been collected largely without the consent and knowledge of the individuals who appear in the images,” wrote Stoddart.
“I am concerned that, if the Street View application were deployed in Canada, it might not comply with our federal privacy legislation. In particular, it does not appear to meet the basic requirements of (the law).”
While Google is working to blur the faces of anyone caught-up in a Street View photo, they are only doing so upon request. This wouldn’t cut it with Canada’s 2004 personal information protection act, which could be part of the reason there’s not a Street Views option for Canada.