Hanspeter Thür, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), has accused Google of not having taken the necessary steps to safeguard the privacy of Swiss citizens. Thür has demanded that “Google Inc. immediately withdraw its online service Google Street View concerning Switzerland,” according to a statement.
In the months leading up to its launch, Street View had been a concern in Switzerland. Thür’s office has an informational page (in German and French) on its site devoted to the service. It includes instructions on how to get your face blurred if you show up in a snapshot of a street and says that Google would be allowed to offer Street View for Swiss streets only if “negotiated conditions” be met. The FDPIC has left itself a big out, however, saying that should the anonymization process have shortcomings and a number of faces are visible, the Commissioner can take “necessary measures”—like banning the service.
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