Google has an image crisis

The Feedster

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Jun 26, 2007
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We all remember the guy in orange hilariously guiding usthrough Google’s new-fangled Street View, but if seeing a man in a skin-tightleotard wasn’t controversial enough, the app may run into trouble if it’sofficially released in the EU.
Points of View
The US has pretty much embraced the program that allowsusers to view street level photographs, take virtual walks through 30 US citiesand find various shops, hotels etc. Basically it’s a more interactive form ofGoogle Maps. It’s not just an app for agoraphobics, though, as drivers havealso been using it to get a feel for a place before they visit.
The EU data protection agency has raised concerns about theapp, if it is ever – and it most likely will – launched here.
Speaking about Street View, Peter Hustinx, the EuropeanUnion Data Protection Supervisor, commented that “making pictures everywhere iscertainly going to create some problems.”
It is essentially Hustinx job to make sure that the 27countries 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 breachingprivacy in the US.Google has gone some way to stop this by recently blurring close-up images ofpeople on the street to protect their privacy. Though it is in the testingstage, the automatic face detection, and eventual face blurring, will come intoforce as Google makes Street View’s imagery clearer.