Monday, July 7, 2008
Google has defended its controversial Street View photo-mapping tool, saying it will meet local privacy laws in European countries at launch.
The tool, which matches real world photos to mapped locations, has drawn fire from some privacy campaigners.
In the UK, Privacy International said the tool could breach data protection laws if people’s faces were shown.
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Google has said it is using face blurring technology to preserve the privacy of individuals photographed.
“In our view they need a person’s consent if they make use of a person’s face for commercial ends,” Simon Davies, of Privacy International told BBC News.
Street View has already been launched in the US and includes photos of streets in major American cities. Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started last week.
Mr Davies has written to Google asking for details of the face-blurring technology, saying he would ask the UK Information Commissioner to intervene if he did not receive a satisfactory response.