Aug 192010
 
 August 19, 2010  Non-U.S., Online

Juergen Baetz reports:

Google Inc. said Thursday it would double the amount of time Germans have to opt out of having their homes shown in its “Street View” feature, which has sparked a fierce public debate over privacy concerns.

Germans will now have eight weeks, instead of four, to request images of their homes be deleted, Philipp Schindler, Google’s vice president for Northern and Central Europe said in a statement.

Read more on Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Spiegel Online reports that in an interview with the German Consumer Protection Minister, Ilse Aigner, when asked where she would draw the line, she replied:

The decisive thing is the question of linking data together. One example: The development departments of IT firms have long had photo software for mobile phones that can be used, within seconds, to connect a person’s face on the street with that person’s name, an address and the image that goes with it, a birthday, perhaps the person’s personal preferences that they have added on social networks or a GPS profile of their movements. With only one click, I would have a complete personality profile of a passerby. That would be a breach of the dam, and we have to prevent that.

Read more of the interview on Spiegel Online.

Isn’t it great how Europeans have more rights than we do when it comes to American businesses? Did we get eight week notice to opt-out? If Google and other giants make concessions for other governments, why hasn’t our own government insisted on similar protections for our own citizens? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

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