Google has an image crisis

Its Street View app may be an invasion of privacy in the EU

We all remember the guy in orange hilariously guiding us through Google’s new-fangled Street View, but if seeing a man in a skin-tight leotard wasn’t controversial enough, the app may run into trouble if it’s officially released in the EU.

Points of View

The US has pretty much embraced the program that allows users to view street level photographs, take virtual walks through 30 US cities and find various shops, hotels etc. Basically it’s a more interactive form of Google Maps. It’s not just an app for agoraphobics, though, as drivers have also been using it to get a feel for a place before they visit.

The EU data protection agency has raised concerns about the app, if it is ever – and it most likely will be – launched here.

Speaking about Street View, Peter Hustinx, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor, commented that “making pictures everywhere is certainly going to create some problems.”

It is essentially Hustinx job to make sure that the 27 countries that make up the EU are consistent on their laws on privacy.

Bit of a blur

Street View has been criticised in the past for breaching privacy in the US. Google has gone some way to stop this by recently blurring close-up images of people on the street to protect their privacy. Though it is in the testing stage, the automatic face detection, and eventual face blurring, will come into force as Google makes Street View’s imagery clearer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.