Feb 062010
 
 February 6, 2010  Non-U.S., Online

A German government minister has criticized internet giant Google for its Street View facility, which displays photos of streets and houses online, German media reported on Saturday.

Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner was investigating ‘legal steps and possible changes to the law,’ to prevent Google Street View from publishing images taken in Germany, she told news magazine Focus.

Last summer Germany settled a dispute with Google over privacy laws, paving the way for photos of German cities to appear alongside other European countries including Italy, France and the UK.

The deal included a provision that Germans could object to photos being taken of their private property. According to a European Union agreement, Google has to announce in advance when it plans to take photos in particular cities.

Aigner said she wanted to reverse the current procedure, by which individuals are tasked with informing Google if they did not want their private data to appear online.

Rather, she said, the onus should lie on Google to seek permission from individuals.

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