Google Street View faces citizens' reservation in EU

By EDRi · August 25, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [EU-Bürger gegen Google Street View |]

While Google intends to go on mapping localities in Europe through its
Street View system, several EU countries continue to show reluctance to this
service due to privacy issues.

In May 2010, Google was faced with big concerns in Germany after it had been
revealed that Street View vehicles were collecting private data sent over
Wi-Fi networks. Google stated it was a mistake and the data had never been
used in any Google products and that anyway only fragments of payload data
had been gathered.

As Google announced, it would re-launch its service in November 2010 and
although the company stated it would allow Germans to opt out of Street
View, thousands of Germans have requested their homes be removed from Google
Street View.

Under pressure from the EU, Google accepted to allow German people from 20
cities to opt out from having their homes included in the service, but
imposed a deadline 15 September 2010 until when they would receive written
letters with the request for the opt-out. For the time being, Germany is the
only country having this possibility.

The German government is to issue more comprehensive rules on data
protection on the Internet this autumn.

In France, as Google would continue collecting 3D images of the streets in
the areas yet uncovered, CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority,
considered the action as premature as its investigation of this Google’s
service is not yet concluded and asked to examine the hard disks containing
the collected Wi-Fi data.

Also Spain has joined these countries and is investigating Google for
alleged privacy violations and “computer crime” of its mapping service while
taking shots of the city streets in Spain. A subpoena has been issued by the
Spanish court following a complaint filed in June by private internet
watchdog and technology consulting agency Apedanica.

“Every citizen holds under EU law the right of appeal against Google Street
View. I expect that Google respect European rules on data protection –
anywhere in Europe. The best way is a citizen friendly and non-bureaucratic
tool for appeals,” has recently told EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding
to German daily Bild, adding that the period for appeal should be at last
six weeks long.

Germans upset by Google Street View (13.08.2010)

Generational gap divides opinion on Internet privacy (18.08.2010),,5920442,00.html

Spain takes on Google over privacy violations in Street View (17.08.2010)

Google Cars will be back in France (only in French, 20.08.2010)

CNIL considers the re-entering into circulation of Google Street View
vehicles as premature (only in French, 20.08.2010)

EDRi-gram: Austria puts more pressure on Google Street View (2.06.2010)