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Switzerland Sues Google Over Streetview

Google, the world’s biggest search engine, is being sued by Switzerland’s Hanspeter Thur, the Federal Data Protection Commissioner of the country for not ensuring sufficient privacy in its Street View service.

The Commissioner has expressed serious concerns about locations such as hospitals, prison or schools appearing on the service and has decided to sue the company for not blurring the faces and license plates properly.

Google Street View had faced opposition from privacy campaigners in many countries in UK. However, Google in its defense has always maintained that the level of blurring is adequate and that anyone is free to ask Google to remove the pictures of his/her property.

Meanwhile Google has decided to defend itself in court as the company commented that the Street View service had been given the all clear for launch by the Swiss DPA as it complied with the Swiss legal law.

Google also claims that all the privacy regulators and related groups were satisfied before the app was launched in Switzerland.

The web giant expressed disappointment in Herr Thur decision to sue the company and said that he has changed his position after the launch of Street View.

Our Comments

Switzerland is very protective of privacy and it is not surprising to see how vindictive it is against Google. Still, it is unlikely that other countries will be following the Swiss example and fight against Google.

Related Links

Swiss act on Google Street View pictures

(Financial Times)

Swiss privacy watchdog takes Google to court over Street View

(Xinhua Net)

Related Links

Google faces court action in Switzerland over Street View

(Daily Mail)

Google faces court action over Street View

(Swiss Info)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.