Saying 'nein' to street view - Macleans.ca

Saying ‘nein’ to street view

Germans are among the most frequent users of Street View, they reportedly aren’t so comfortable over the possibility of seeing their own houses online

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Saying 'nein' to street view

CARSTEN REHDER/DPA/ZUMA/KEYSTONE PRESS

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Google in Europe. Governments and residents are not thrilled with the company’s Street View service, which allows users to get an up-close-and-personal 360-degree image of any given location, including residential areas. In Guernsey, two of Google’s Street View cars were vandalized. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic shot down Google’s second request to collect data from Czech streets, saying the collection represents a threat to citizens’ privacy. One of the concerns revolves around the cameras, which are posted 2.7 m on top of Google’s cars. The Czech office says the cameras are too tall and allow intrusive photographs to be “taken over the fence.”

There’s similar resistance in Germany. Even though Germans are among the most frequent users of Street View, they reportedly aren’t so comfortable over the possibility of seeing their own houses online. Over 100,000 have already registered to have their homes blurred out on Street View, slated for a full launch in Germany’s 20 biggest cities by the end of the year. Others have until Oct. 15 to apply for their houses to be pixelated unrecognizable.