EU Takes Closer Look At Google Street View

European Union’s data privacy regulators have asked search engine giant Google to inform people before sending Street View cameras for taking pictures of their streets.

The privacy watchdog has also requested Google to reduce the duration for which it stores uncensored photos of people’s streets.

In a letter sent to Google’s Head of data privacy Peter Fleischer, Alex Turk, the head of EU data protection agencies said that the company should provide full details of the destinations being visited by their Street View camera van, well in advance.

EU’s data privacy chief also requested the company to avoid taking pictures that are sensitive in nature and "those containing intimate details not normally observable by a passer-by."

Google has this unusual policy of keeping original uncensored photographs taken by the Street View camera for a year and according to EU privacy laws, this is not permissible.

Commenting on the issue at hand, European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, said in a statement that she will be thoroughly investigating the privacy issues.

She also added that “In Europe, we have high standards for data protection. I expect that all companies play according to the rules of the game.”

Our Comments

The fresh privacy concerns regarding Street View comes close on the heels of Google executives being sentenced to 6 months in prison after being accused of allowing a video of an Italian boy being bullied by his classmates, to stream on YouTube.

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