Google has an image crisis
16th May 2008 | 09:39
Its Street View app may be an invasion of privacy in the EU
We all remember the guy in orange hilariously guiding us through Google’s new-fangled Street View, but if seeing a man in a skin-tight leotard wasn’t controversial enough, the app may run into trouble if it’s officially released in the EU.
Points of View
The US has pretty much embraced the program that allows users to view street level photographs, take virtual walks through 30 US cities and find various shops, hotels etc. Basically it’s a more interactive form of Google Maps. It’s not just an app for agoraphobics, though, as drivers have also been using it to get a feel for a place before they visit.
The EU data protection agency has raised concerns about the app, if it is ever – and it most likely will be – launched here.
Speaking about Street View, Peter Hustinx, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor, commented that “making pictures everywhere is certainly going to create some problems.”
It is essentially Hustinx job to make sure that the 27 countries that make up the EU are consistent on their laws on privacy.
Bit of a blur
Street View has been criticised in the past for breaching privacy in the US. Google has gone some way to stop this by recently blurring close-up images of people on the street to protect their privacy. Though it is in the testing stage, the automatic face detection, and eventual face blurring, will come into force as Google makes Street View’s imagery clearer.