Google "Street View" causes privacy concerns debate in Germany

 

Google announced Tuesday that it plans to unveil a Google "Street View" for Germany by the end of this year. However the idea of snapping pics of Germans without their permission has sparked a privacy debate in the country.

 

German officials have made it very clear that they do not like the idea of Google driving through neighborhoods capturing people in detailed photographs and posting them on their wildly popular website feature.

 

In an attempt to ease the fears of worried Germans, the government has stepped in and made it mandatory that Google blur individual's faces and automobile's license plates. Residents can even request Google remove their home from their database. 

 

Cities that will be included in Google's German invasion this November are Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, among others. 

 

But many privacy groups in Germany are not happy with the way Google has handled this situation, since it is only giving people four-weeks to contact them to tell the internet powerhouse that they do not want their house included. Right now most Germans are on holiday for the month and many might not be able to contact Google until September.

 

Furthermore Google is being criticized for not setting up a phone number that people can call to get answers to their questions. 

 

But even though Germans are outraged by Google's lack of communication and understanding when it comes to privacy concerns, "Street View" is still a very popular service used by hundreds of thousands of users in Germany every week. Many plan their vacations via the U.S. website. 

 

What do you think? Is Germany overreacting when it comes to Google "Street View" or do they have a point? Leave a comment below. 

Source: Associated Press

One Response

  1. Deborah

    I think it is outrageous that a Company makes millions by exploiting lax privacy laws that were written before the internet age. Information that they want to use they have to pay for. I want a copyright like protection for my house, so that I can sell the right to its picture for any commercial use. And I would not sell it to google! "Hundreds and thousands of Germans" is right out of the google propaganda leader’s speak. That is about 0.1% of the population. And these hapless individuals are being used for google’s nefarious attempts.
    Remember how IBM cooperated with the Nazis to make Auschwitz possible?
    Oh, they were only making money ….

    Reply

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