Privacy International Calls For Google Street View To Be Closed

Privacy International Calls For Google Street View To Be ClosedAn official appeal by privacy campaigners has been made to the Information Commissioner’s Office to close down Google’s UK Street View service.

Launched in Britain last week, Street View serves up pannable, zoomable street-level photo views of major cities, allowing curious punters to take virtual strolls around towns and have a good nosey about.

Although the service automatically blurs any faces and license plates it finds (this was one of the pre-launch stipulations of the ICO), Privacy International say that some people are still identifiable and are now asking for the entire thing to be taken off air.

When the service first launched, much amusement was had as people unearthed damning images such as one chap distributing a pavement pizza outside a bar while another bloke was spotted strolling out of a sex shop. Both these images have now been blanked.

Privacy International’s director Simon Davies said his organisation had filed the complaint given the “clear embarrassment and damage” Street View had caused to many Britons.

“We’re asking for the system to be switched off while an investigation is completed,” he told the BBC. “The Information Commissioner never grasped the gravity of how a benign piece of legislation could affect ordinary lives.”

Privacy International Calls For Google Street View To Be ClosedGoogle feels confident that data watchdog will rule in their favour, commenting in a statement: “The ICO has repeatedly made clear that it believes that in Street View the necessary safeguards are in place to protect people’s privacy.”

“The fact that some people have used the tools in place to remove images shows that the tools work effectively… Of course, if anyone has concerns about the product or its images they can contact us and we look forward to hearing from them,” they added.

Google Street View UK Launch
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2 thoughts on “Privacy International Calls For Google Street View To Be Closed”

  1. Close down Google Street View you say? Certainly not, as these are only single images captured in time. This is a very highly valuable piece of IT Software that both the public and businesses can use to display specific areas especially Estate Agents to give their clients a good idea as to areas specific.

    If we carry on with PC Correctness at this hideous level, you won’t be able to take even your own holiday snaps in ‘Police State UK’.

    Carl Barron
    Chairman of agpcuk
    Action Group for the Protection of Communities UK

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