Germany threatens Google over Street View

Germany has warned internet giant Google that it might take legal action to prevent Google Street View from offering photos on the country’s cities and streets. The country’s Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner told Focus magazine that she was considering “legal steps and possible changes to the law,” to prevent Google from publishing photos taken in Germany. Google’s Street View offers 360-degree pictures taken along streets in cities and towns across a country. Aigner said she was considering reversing a 2009 settlement whereby individuals would have to object should they not want to have their house or property photographed. Rather, Aigner suggested, it should be Google who has to seek permission from individuals to put their data online. The minister described the images on Google street view as “a millionfold violation of privacy rights.” Google rejects the criticism, saying that it had been granted the permission to take the pictures under the 2009 settlement with the German authorities. The deal included a provision that licence plates and faces would be blurred and that any individual could object to the their photographs appearing online. Google says only some hundred people so far had objected. The internet company plans to make the street view service available later this year,,5222701,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-ger-1023-rdf


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