Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Privacy Your Rights Online

Street View On iOS Pierces German Privacy Veil 46

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-just-move dept.
jfruhlinger writes "After some prickly negotiations with the German government's privacy regulators, Google got permission to launch its Street View service for German addresses, so long as people had the right to opt out and choose to have only a blurred version of their homes on the service. But it turns out that iPhone and iPad users can see those buildings after all."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Street View On iOS Pierces German Privacy Veil

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Those aren't photos of your house! Google uses photos of houses from a Universe which is only fractionally different from ours. The terrain's totally the same there. The only difference is that 99% of the people use Linux except for an exclusive club of Microsoft users.

    • by shikaisi (1816846)
      There's a lake of stew, and of whiskey too, You can paddle all around it in a big canoe, In the Big Rocky Candy Mountain.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Those aren't photos of your house! Google uses photos of houses from a Universe which is only fractionally different from ours. The terrain's totally the same there. The only difference is that 99% of the people use Linux except for an exclusive club of Microsoft users.

      If you could zoom in on the telly sets, you could probably grab a few scenes from the later episodes of firefly. Heck, if you could get the streetview guys to drive fast enough and if enough people were watching the show (windows open, presumably), you could probably watch an entire episode.

      • That is always my first thought on reading about a parallel universe. :P

        • Unfortunately, in the 4th season, the show kinda jumped the shark with that whole love triangle between Mal, Inara, and River....that's not even mentioning the introduction of that robotic dog, Quan, or when Kaylee turned out to be the one to design an interstellar drive, and they went to find aliens....really disappointing!
          • by yahwotqa (817672)

            Shit, can you at least say "SPOILER ALERT"? I was just finishing with season 3. Thanks for nothing, asshole.

    • Actually this neatly explains the apparent inability of Google to actually delete the images (RTFA) as requested by the DPA. It seems to be one of those things where there are only two normal explanations - incompetence of the Google engineers to actually delete data, or deliberate ignoring of the request to delete. So which is it Google? Do you claim to be incompetent or do you think you're big enough to ignore Government? :)
      • by dimeglio (456244)

        Google does no evil, therefore it is the German government which is ill advised.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wygit (696674)

        It didn't say they were supposed to be deleting the images, but de-rezzing them, which deletes data, as opposed to adding a filter on top of the images, which is apparently what they did.

        I can see that... It's not like you can put the data back later if the German government changes its mind.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Honestly, my first question is, is it Google or the German government ignoring the law here? I'm not entirely familiar with German law, granted, and it does have some oddities, but I'm not certain under what legal theory an "opt out" right could be created. If I took a photo of some friends on a public street in Germany and posted it on a website, with a home in the background, would the homeowner have the right under German law to demand I blur the home or take down the photo? And if they wouldn't, what's

    • Actual post from Slashdoternate:

      I predict this will be the year of the Windows desktop!

      It was modded funny btw -- as is the cultural norm over on that side! ;)

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Saturday November 06, 2010 @04:48AM (#34146068) Homepage

    It appears that here in Germany, we don't care much whether our ISP is obliged to keep all our internet traffic on file for months, our web access can be arbitrarily and secretly limited, our radio organizations can demand listener fees from everyone with an internet connection and shit like ACTA can get dictated on us from the copyright mafia... ... but DON'T YOU DARE put a photo of my HOUSE on the INTERNET.

    Thanks for the tea party, America; at least that way there are a few things left we can feel smugly superior about.

    • by mischi_amnesiac (837989) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @05:18AM (#34146148) Homepage
      Yeah, remember those idiots who protested against street view and the newspaper made a picture of them in front of their home and published the article online?
      http://www.rp-online.de/duesseldorf/duesseldorf-stadt/nachrichten/Buergerprotest-gegen-Google_aid_892897.html [rp-online.de]

      Sorry, article is in german, but the picture is there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It appears that here in Germany, we don't care much whether our ISP is obliged to keep all our internet traffic on file for months

      Remember how a German court declared this illegal?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The craziest thing is that "panorama photography" has been explicitly allowed by law in Germany for ages and nobody seemed to have a problem with it. Now they're looking to severely restrict the right to take pictures in public space, because apparently now your private property extends to blurry images of your house facade. But I'm sure that when they pass Lex Google Street View, there will be a sweeping exemption for camera surveillance by government and business. Germans actually love being watched as lo

      • by DrVomact (726065)

        The craziest thing is that "panorama photography" has been explicitly allowed by law in Germany for ages and nobody seemed to have a problem with it. Now they're looking to severely restrict the right to take pictures in public space, because apparently now your private property extends to blurry images of your house facade...Germans actually love being watched as long as it's their own Big Brother who watches them, not some American company.

        That's a cheap shot. What's happening is that their government (and some of their media) are distracting the German people from the real problem by making a big deal out of Google. Germany has very strict "data protection laws" ("Datenschutz") that are ostensibly meant to safeguard individual privacy. They don't: they only prevent individuals from finding out stuff—corporations and the government are not hampered a bit by these laws.

        So Google is just a convenient whipping boy; the fact that they are

    • by Tom (822)

      It appears that here in Germany, we don't care much

      That depends entirely on who you list in "we". If you dislike all those things, become a member of the Pirate Party and help change things. A lot of people here in Germany care, but like most of the western democracies, our politics has become a quagmire of lobbyism, stupidity and greed. It'll take some effort to change things, and that effort isn't whining on /.

  • by Geheimagent (679949) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @05:00AM (#34146102)

    The streetview service is not illegal in Germany. Google voluntarily pixels houses if people living there demand it. They don't have to. Other services like sightwalk.de do it without for years.

  • Since when did Cupertino build German Engineering into its products?

  • Maybe I didn't look long enough, but from what I can tell, the streetview coverage in Germany at this time is close to nil. Only a small part of a small village which, oh surprise, has a "blacked out house" is present. To me, this seems like either a function test for the feature or a demonstration on how the feature could work to the interested people. Either way, this would also explain the lapse in mobile versions of google maps.

    Or did they already rollback on streetview release for Germany after enablin

  • The German government may pretend that hiding images of buildings and people visible from public streets is "privacy" but it's merely privacy theater.

    Germany's government has one of the wost records on privacy among European nations, pushing for data retention, registration of religions beliefs with the government, extensive electronic government surveillance, even aerial photography of people's backyards.

    So, don't feed the German government trolls: don't call this restriction of photography "privacy".

  • This only happens if you really do not understand your own application. In addition, anybody with at least a bit security knowledge would have blurred in the source material, thereby making this screwup impossible.

    Seems the times were Google was a technology leader are over.

    • Re:Amateurs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @09:41AM (#34147064)

      And what happens when the house's new owners want it unblurred? Google has to send out a new truck because their only copy of the existing picture is blurry?

      I think Google operates under the memo "Never delete anything without a court order." They're required to blur the images they display, not their source material they store internally, so they didn't.

      • Well, they would of course keep the unblurred material at some not publicly accessible place, but the point is that blurring would be done directly on the images used for the service, instead of added dynamically. That way, something would be blurred either everywhere or nowhere.

      • by kju (327) *

        And what happens when the house's new owners want it unblurred? Google has to send out a new truck because their only copy of the existing picture is blurry?

        Yes, they would have to. Google has already announced that the blur will be made permanent and no unblurred data will be kept. The current malfunctioning way is just a stop-gap measure.

You might have mail.

Working...