Street View goes live in Germany with blurred images

The launch of Google's street-level imagery follows months of debate over privacy issues in Germany

Google gingerly launched a select set of Street View images for Germany on Tuesday, a country where it has faced some of the most fierce opposition to the imagery application.

Google released images of famous landmarks in Munich, Stuttgart, Dresden, Oberstaufen, Berlin as well as Hamburg, which is located in the same state where data protection officials and prosecution continue to investigate the Street View program. The company plans to release full imagery by the end of the year for 14 other German cities.

A Google spokeswoman said no complaint had been received by the company on Tuesday.

The company chose Oberstaufen since its mayor and local tourist board asked Google to release the imagery, according to the company. Google also published an image of a cake with lettering that read "Street View Willkommen in Oberstaufen."

Google has been keen to play down opposition to Street View in Germany. To tame privacy concerns, the company allowed people to request that their properties be blurred from Street View prior to the service going live -- the only country where Google allowed that to happen.

In mid-October, Google said it received close to 250,000 opt-outs, which represented roughly three per cent of the households in the areas where Street View will launch. About two-thirds of those opt-outs came via an online tool Google opened up in August to receive the requests, with others coming from letters and e-mail requests.

Despite the warm welcome from Oberstaufen officials, some properties in the city are blurred, reflecting that some requests were made by citizens to Google to not participate.

Also, progressing down one street eventually showed a black screen with the message "This image is under review and will be available soon."

Meanwhile, Hamburg's Data Protection Agency and the city's prosecutor's office continue to investigate Google's Street View vehicles, which had been collecting data traffic from unencrypted Wi-Fi routers at the same time those vehicles were collecting images. Neither agency could be immediately reached on Tuesday afternoon.

The company halted the program. Other countries, including Spain and South Korea, area also examining whether the program violated data protection laws.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentprivacyregulationGoogleInternet-based applications and servicesMaps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?