IDG News Service - Close to 250,000 German households have requested that Google scrub their homes from its Street View imagery program as the company nears launching the service in Germany amid continuing privacy concerns.
Google said on Tuesday it had reviewed 244,237 opt-out requests, representing 2.89% of Germany's 8,458,084 households, wrote Andreas Türk, product manager for Street View in Germany, on a company blog. About two-thirds of those opt-outs came via an online tool Google opened up in August to receive the requests. The company also honors letter and e-mail requests.
Company representatives weren't able to immediately provide opt-out rates for other countries that would indicate if opposition to Street View in Germany is greater than elsewhere.
Google is on track to soon launch Street View in 20 of the largest cities in Germany, Türk wrote. Google's Street View -- which provides panoramic street-level photography to accompany its Maps Web application -- has faced opposition and scrutiny from regulators and privacy watchdogs.
Google remains under investigation by Hamburg's Data Protection Authority (DPA) and that city's prosecutor's office. Google's Street View vehicles had been collecting data traffic from unencrypted Wi-Fi routers at the same time those vehicles were collecting images.
The company immediately halted the program and expressed regret, but data protection authorities in a host of other countries including Spain and South Korea continue to investigate whether Google violated data protection regulations.
Hamburg's DPA is also looking at how Google retains the personal information of Germans who have requested their properties be omitted as well as how those obscured images are stored.
In the meantime, Google is gingerly moving forward with Street View in Germany. But the process for deleting images from Street View is complex, Türk warned.
"We've worked very hard to keep the numbers as low as possible but in any system like this there will be mistakes, Türk said. "For instance, some people asked us to blur their house, but didn't give us the precise location.
"In such cases the household can still ask us to blur the image using the 'report a problem' tool on Street View once imagery is published, and we'll do it as fast as we can," Türk continued. "The same is true of faces and car licence plates that our automatic blurring technology may have missed."
Google plans to launch Street View with images of Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bremen, Dortmund, Dresden, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Wuppertal.
Earlier this week, Spain's Data Protection Agency said it is investigating Google for up to five infractions of its laws over the collection of Wi-Fi data, for which the company could face more than €300,000 ($417,000) in fines. In August, South Korean police raided Google's offices and launched an investigation into unauthorized data collection and illegal wiretapping.
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Comprehensive Advanced Threat Defense
- The hot topic in the information security industry these days is "Advanced Threat Defense" (ATD). This paper describes a comprehensive, network-based approach to...
- Advanced Threat Defense: A Comprehensive Approach
- In this interview, Peter George, president, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, explains why we need more than anti-malware, and what constitutes a comprehensive...
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms
- Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media
- This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and... All Government IT White Papers
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- All Government IT Webcasts