Swiss and Google reach privacy accord

22nd December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Google agreed Friday not to post pictures of Switzerland on its Street View map.

Geneva -- Google has agreed not to put pictures of Switzerland on its Street View picture map under a temporary accord to end a privacy battle with Swiss authorities, the government said Friday.

Swiss authorities took the privacy case to the Federal Administrative Tribunal in November after Google refused to apply a series of government measures.

According to the agreement, "Google has committed to not publish any new image taken in Switzerland on Street View (...) until the Federal Administrative Tribunal has given its ruling and it is in place."

Google can still take photos, but not publish them online, while those potentially concerned by the pictures "will be informed in advance".

Street View allows users to take a ground-level panoramic view of some locations on Google Maps, based on still photographs taken by specially-equipped vehicles.

The Swiss data protection commission has repeatedly complained, since the service was introduced in Switzerland earlier this year, that many images of faces and vehicle number plates were easily identifiable and insufficiently blurred.

The data protection commission made new recommendations in September, after initially asking Google to withdraw the service until changes were made. Google refused, insisting that its blurring technology was good and the service was legal.

AFP / Expatica

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