Jun 172009

Germany has settled a dispute with internet giant Google over its Street View facility, meaning that photos of homes, shops and offices in Europe’s biggest nation will soon appear on Google Maps, an official said Wednesday. Although users of the website can currently see snapshots of British, French and other European streets, Germany has been a blank in the service so far, after government commissioners accused Google of breaching privacy law.

But where objections are filed about particular pictures of persons, properties or cars, Google will make the image unusable, said the state of Hamburg data privacy commissioner, Johannes Caspar, who led the negotiations for Germany.

Privacy officials said the undertaking now applied as well to the original images made by Google’s fleet of camera cars. That had been a sticking point in the talks.

Read more on EarthTimes.

Update: CBC News in Canada reports that Google Canada will “be permanently blurring [faces] and permanently anonymizing them, so there’s no imagery in there that’s identifiable.”

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