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Google May Shut Down Street View In Switzerland

Search engine giant Google has decided to appeal against a ruling in Switzerland that ordered it to make the people and cars photographed for its Street View service unrecognisable.

The company plans to make an appeal with Switzerland’s highest court, after the Swiss data protection watchdog filed a case against Google in 2009 for possible violations of Swiss privacy laws by the Street View service.

Google claimed that it could end up shutting down its Street View service for the entire country. The company claims that Street View is used by more than half of the Swiss population. Google also claimed that more than 1,000 Swiss organisations had already integrated the service with their websites.

“The decision of the Federal Administrative Tribunal requires us to guarantee that 100 percent of faces and licence plate are not identifiable. We simply cannot comply with that. In the interest of Internet users and Swiss companies, Google will lodge an appeal ...before the Federal Tribunal so that Street View can still be offered in Switzerland,” the company said in a statement.

Google claimed that 99 percent of the people photographed by Street View were already unrecognisable.

The company already faces similar probes into its Street View service in several European countries, not to mention the on-going probe by the European Union in its advertising business.