Google in Street View fight back

2010-08-20 14:23

Berlin - Google Inc is defending its Street View feature against sharp criticism in Germany saying it has gone a long way to address people's privacy concerns.

Google's vice president for Northern and Central Europe, Philipp Schindler, told Thursday's mass circulation daily Bild the company had found a unique data security agreement with German agencies as early as in 2009.

Schindler said that only in Germany are consumers given the right to opt out of having their homes shown on Street View before the feature has even started.

He said while Google is respecting people's privacy, "there is nothing more public than the outside of buildings".

Schindler said hundreds of thousands of Germans are using the feature to check out cities abroad.

  • Proudly South African? - 2010-08-20 14:46

    I and many others I know are opposed to the new streetview. It infringes on one's privacy and you are actually able to zoom right into someone's house should the snapshot had been taken at the time when the curtains, blinds and/or windows were open. Not only that, the view allows for would thieves to survey the perimeter, looking for for anything that may be problem when they try to burgle the place. This view poses a REAL and VERY possible safety risk. Crime in our country / city has been on the increase because the criminals can now see the place without actually seeing the place - even though the snapshot may be 3-6mths old.
    Did google actually put thought into this? They can potentially be sued by people out there should it be found that their images are linked to crimes.

  • Malcolm Stanier - 2010-08-20 15:15

    So does this mean you will now want to stop people walking past your house on the pavement or driving past on the road as they have a much clearer view than you would have in Google street view??

  • johan - 2010-08-20 15:34

    Please, get real potential thieves don't use Google streetview to burgle. Crime were rife in SA long before Google streetview. Real thieves will survey potential burglaries by scouting the area in real time. Like Winston Churchill asked: "anybody can see what is wrong with it but can anybody tell me what is right about it? I have used Google streetview to get familiar with a place before I drive there. Saved me a lot of time. I also went looking for houses in an area to purchase and it saved me a lot of unnesacecary driving around. I think it is a very neat piece of technology.

  • Andy - 2010-08-20 16:14

    @Proudly South African: Yes grandpa, criminals now, who are unable to drive around surveying the area, are now able to do this using street view. Makes a lot of sense.

  • Pro - 2010-08-20 16:26

    I agree with you Johan. I think it's great. Used it for the same reasons, and there is nothing you can see on it, that you can't by standing outside the exact same spot that the Google van tooke the image that rules out thieves

  • Proudly my Ass - 2010-08-30 04:55

    @Proudly South Africa. Perhaps you could ask the Gov to also ban cameras, as thieves can use that to take pictures and discuss their possible targets with their A-Teams. and you should also ask your Police Commisioner to ban cellphones as the thieves can use that to give advance warning to their mates from a block or two away if the police or security guys are coming.
    And dont forget to ban cars as Thieves can use that to carry away they stuff they have stolen.

    Somewhere you have missed the bus.
    Perhaps you should use Google streetview to find the next busstop?

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