Germany 1 Google 0 – Google Street View

google-is-watchingGoogle 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!