Microsoft Removes Bing Maps Streetside In Germany

Microsoft has had enough of the privacy complaints regarding pictures taken of German streets and consequently, has decided to temporarily pull off the street imagery feature from Bing Maps in Germany.

Microsoft's Germany Bing Maps was launched in 2011 - shortly after Google's Street View - but offers less imagery than the Mountain View service . Unfortunately, it had to put up quite a fight with many of the country's privacy-conscious citizens.

That's why on Tuesday, Microsoft decided to remove the Streetside feature seen by those in Germany - not just photos of said country, but all Streetside images around the world.

Microsoft spokesman Thomas Baumgärtner said in a statement that "As we take data protection and the privacy of our customers very seriously, we have as a precaution decided to take the mapping service Streetside Beta offline in Germany, while we check these individual cases and work on a satisfactory solution for all parties".

Google's Street View had a hard time in Germany since its launch and due to several complaints from residents, the service had to be modified repeatedly with a high number of buildings being blurred at the users' requests.

Eventually, Google got tired of taking new photos and manually processing hundreds of thousands of blurring requests, so gave up in April last year.

The Redmond-based company is still in the process of photographing Germany's streets, and despite the service being temporarily pulled from the country, this will surely work to the company's advantage to make Streetside more up-to-date compared to Google's.

Source: Microsoft (translated by Google)