For months, a debate has raged all over Germany whether Google’s Street View service violates privacy by providing home images and front yards countrywide. More than two-hundred-forty-thousand residents requested that their homes be blotted out the service images, launched on Thursday. Google’s controversial service went online throughout Germany in the morning, launching panoramic views of streets images across the country’s twenty largest cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich.
Contrasting other countries, Panoramic Service launch in Germany met high resistance by politicians and privacy protection advocates, including the country’s consumer protection minister, Mr. Isle Aigner, a conservative from the Christian Social Union party, who attacked the service as people’s privacy encroachment The giant Web Searcher sent a fleet of camera-equipped vehicles around the country a few years ago, but controversy surrounding the service led to long delays before introduction.
Is this a Germany “Hollowed Vision”? Street View-German Version shows many obstructed images. When an apartment renter requested his unit to be pixilated, Google blotted out the entire building. Data protection officials believe that up to a million households countrywide have been hidden by the service. American Company has said residents who still want their homes removed from the images can request it after launching. Besides, Company announced it would also blur out people faces and vehicle license plates.
As would be expected, no need looking too intensely at the images to detect slews of obscured homes. Before service introduction, more than two-hundred-forty-thousand households in the first twenty cities on line submitted requests to be blotted out. The American company argues this figure is only three percent of all household. Indeed, it seems a small figure despite the controversy as some polls had showed more than half the Germans opposed “Street View.”
Although the Company has honored most blurred out requests, a few buildings that should have been pixilated still showed up. But Internet giant gave warning that it could happen at the beginning. A home requesting pixilization had to be removed from several pictures. Google said it brought an additional two-hundred workers crew to do this job. Links are also provided for allowing users posting any pixilation-related problem.
The Mountain View Company caused additional trouble when it acknowledged its car fleet had downloaded unsecured data from WLAN connections of cars on the streets. Web Page Searcher disclaimed the problem, blaming it on software errors “not discovered before.” Google officials argued no data had been used. However, Government agencies from several countries alleged the contrary; claiming instead, data included e-mails, Internet addresses and passwords. A German investigation by data protection officials and public prosecutor has been ordered. No doubt, Germany’s Panoramic City images cause Mountain View nothing but trouble. Good luck!