Google has been having privacy problems with its Street View website across Europe in recent months. In the UK, one village tried to block the Street View cameras from taking pictures, whilst in Greece last month, Google was forced to black out images until it provides further guarantees about privacy.
Now Germany has come to a different agreement with Google on censorship of content. Google will erase images of faces, house numbers, license plates and individuals in Germany who have told authorities they do not want their information used in the service.
This is different to previous agreements where countries have been happy to have personal information only blurred. I wonder now if questions will now be raised in these countries about whether blurring was enough. Does this mean that Google still holds the original photos and is able to use for its own internal needs?
Personally blurring any content that is publicly available is enough for me, though I am sure others will disagree.
Regardless of the privacy questions, Google Street View is now available in 100 cities across the globe and is being actively used by 3rd party developers to great effect. It has definitely made house hunting easier from the armchair!
The IAB released its annual study for online advertising expenditure in 2008 last week and growth in the top 10 mature markets slowed to only 20%. Some would say thats a tough year for online advertisers. It doesn’t sound too bad to me, given all the pessimism in Q3 and Q4 last year.
Once you look more closely though, there is quite a spread across those top ten markets.
Here is the breakdown:
- Spain: 26%
- Norway: 22%
- Denmark: 22%
- Belgium: 21%
- Italy: 20%
- UK: 19%
- Germany: 19%
- Sweden: 19%
- France: 18.5%
- Netherlands: 9%
Search remained strong with 26% year on year growth taking up some 43% of ad expenditure.
(Not sure who to credit for the image. If it is yours let me know)
I attended the rather dissapointing Brands across Borders event which was held at the rather spectacular location of Millbank Tower in Westminster. The picture on the left is the venue – I’ll let you imagine the venue from the top – it is pretty amazing let me tell you 🙂
Anyhow, back to the topic.. Europeans Internet usage online. One of the presentations that day was very interesting. It was given by Laura Chaibi of Yahoo Europe about Mediascope – a study of media consumption across Europe. It is in its 6th consecutive year and this year surveyed 9095 people across 10 European countries.
First some stats on Europe itself:
- 60% of Europeans are online
- 80% of Internet users are using broadband
- 49% (!) of Internet users are using wireless
- Online population: Germany: 43.3m France: 34.4m UK: 32.4m
I thought the types of interaction online within different countries in Europe was very interesting. In Germany, people seem to be more interested in using the Internet as a resource or shopping tool using it less to communicate and interact whereas in France, people seem to be more interesting in communicating (using email, social networking and instant messaging for example) than shopping. The UK on the other hand use the Internet for all sorts of shopping and love social networks. I’d love to get the raw data and play around more with it.
Of course, it shouldnt be forgotten that these numbers are as high level as you can get but it does provide some cultural differentiation between the various countries online or rather the majority’s priorities at least.
You can see the full presentation here.