Search Results for: google "street view" privacy

Google to Bow to Switzerland’s Street View Wishes

google-street-view-car Google Street View began its European adventure a while ago—and it’s been met with resistance in more than a few places. Switzerland, like several other countries, was concerned that Street View wasn’t sufficiently blurring people’s faces and cars’ license plates, and that the height of the camera meant they’d see over privacy hedges and fences (which, even in the US, might constitute a breach of privacy).

Today, the Swiss government tells Reuters that Google is already ready to accede to its pending ruling. The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) Hanspeter Thuer brought the case against the street-level panoramic photo mapping service, and though it hasn’t been heard yet, Google is ready to comply.

Google Not Turning Over Data to Regulators

While everyone puts Facebook into the privacy cross hairs because they are the easiest target right now, there is still plenty of privacy drama surrounding Google. In Europe and in Hong Kong Google is under pressure to turn over data to regulators. This data is the “Whoops, we didn’t mean that!” data that has been gathered by the Street View crew for Google.

The New York Times reports:

Google on Thursday balked at requests from regulators in Germany and Hong Kong to surrender fragments of Internet data and e-mails it had improperly collected from unsecured home wireless networks, saying it needed time to resolve legal issues.

In Germany, Google said it was not able to comply with the Hamburg data protection supervisor’s request to inspect information the company collected from Internet users by roving cars used to compile its Street View photo map archive.

Boring Couple Lose Google Street View Lawsuit; Go Back to Being….Boring

It seems the Boring couple who sued Google for $25,000–claiming Street Views invaded their privacy–will have to return to a life of obscurity. They just lost their suit.

I know we’ve already picked on them for a) their name and b) filing a public lawsuit to protect their privacy, but it appears the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania agreed that the couple’s suit was ridiculous, stating the Borings "failed to state a claim under any count."

Let’s set aside for one second the irony of the Borings going public to protect their privacy. As CNET highlights, there’s a somewhat scary statement buried in Google’s response to the lawsuit.

"Today’s satellite-image technology means that…complete privacy does not exist," Google said in its response to the Borings’ complaint.

Google, Yahoo and Live Expanding Their Maps

In the last 24 or so hours, all of the big three search engines have had news about expanding their maps programs.

Live Maps Gets Way Cooler
Live Search Maps and Virtual Earth 3D both got major tweaks this week, rolled out yesterday. The Live Search blog lists among the improvements:


  • Directions and Traffic enhancements, including 1-Click directions (Party Maps!)

  • Improved 3D cities (Las Vegas is shown below)

  • Labels in Birds Eye imagery

  • Exporting collections to your navigation or GPS device

  • Tour enhancements, including HD movies

But the Live Maps/Virtual Earth blog has a much more extensive list of cool new features.

Live Maps: downtown Denver, birds eye view

Live Maps’ downtown Denver, Birds Eye View

Google the Peeping-Tom?

Yesterday’s post asking if Google’s new street views for Google Maps was an invasion of privacy, turns out to be just one of many around the web. In fact, The New York Times jumps on the story and looks at whether Google is indeed invading our privacy.

“The issue that I have ultimately is about where you draw the line between taking public photos and zooming in on people’s lives,” Ms. Kalin-Casey said in an interview Thursday on the front steps of the building. “The next step might be seeing books on my shelf. If the government was doing this, people would be outraged.”

Her husband quickly added, “It’s like peeping.”

English Mob Stops Google Car

No, this power-to-the-people headline isn’t a belated April Fools’ joke. A Buckinghamshire neighborhood barred a Google Street View car from photographing its homes and streets with an impromptu mob.

The Times reports that after a string of robberies recently, residents had been on the watch for suspicious vehicles. Unsurprisingly, a car with a sphere of cameras mounted on its roof fit that bill.

Resident Paul Jacobs first saw the car. Jacobs went door to door alerting his neighbors, who gathered in the road. They blocked the Google car from passing and called the police. Eventually the driver turned around and left. Jacobs told the Times:

My immediate reaction was anger; how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.

South Korea Targets Google’s Admob Over Data Concerns

At the rate that reports keep flying in about Google ruffling the feathers of governments regarding data collection and privacy you would think the United Nations might set up a subcommittee on Google ‘concerns’.

Now we can add South Korea to the list of governments that feel the need to dig into Google’s efforts in their country as they relate to data and their citizens.

Reuters reports

Google Inc’s Seoul office was raided on Tuesday on suspicion its mobile advertising unit AdMob had illegally collected location data without consent, South Korean police said, the latest setback to the Internet search firm’s Korean operations.

The probe into suspected collection of data on where a user is located without consent highlights growing concerns about possible misuse of private information as the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets increases.