Lawsuit against Google Street View
Hanspeter Thür, the
federal data protection and information commissioner,
brought suit against Google over an alleged failure to
protect people's privacy on its Street View website. In a
statement he said: "Numerous faces and vehicle number
plates are not made sufficiently unrecognizable from the
point of view of data protection, especially where the
persons concerned are shown in sensitive locations, e.g.
outside hospitals, prisons or schools... The height from
which the camera on top of the Google vehicle films is also
problematic. It provides a view over fences, hedges and
walls, with the result that people see more on Street View
than can been seen by a normal passer-by in the street."
Prior to taking Google to
the country's Federal Administrative Court Thür had asked
Google to take various measures, but the company had not
complied with the request. Thür inter alia demanded that Google develop
a better system for blurring faces and licence plate numbers
to guarantee privacy protection.