Google Street View hits privacy gridlock in Germany

Google Street View hits privacy gridlock in Germany

Germany and Google Inc. remained at odds today over how the company holds certain data used for its Street View map imagery.

Google was given a deadline of today to agree to 12 points regarding Street View in order to comply with Germany’s privacy laws, which generally restrict photographs of people and property except in very public situations, such as a sporting event, without a person’s consent.

The final sticking point concerns partially censored images where Google has blurred items such as license plates or peoples’ faces, said Johannes Caspar, who heads the data protection agency for the Hamburg area.

Hamburg as well 15 other German states want Google to permanently delete that information from its databases in order to comply with the law, Caspar said. Google, however, says it needs to retain that data in order to make its automated blurring technology more accurate, Caspar said.

Google built its own application for automatically detecting faces and license plates, which it says is up to 99% accurate. Google has argued to Hamburg that it needs to retain the data since the blurring technology is self-learning and needs more data to improve.

In pictures: Google Street View glitches captured on screen (news.com.au) [lol!]

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