Czechs stop Google Street View

Ignored our laws


Google will not get permission to continue developing its Street View database of images unless it obeys Czech laws.

The Office for Personal Data Protection said that Google, as a US company, must appoint a representative in the Czech Republic to act as data controller. It has not done so.

The regulator also said: "In order to provide the Street View service, Google Inc. uses technological processes that disproportionately invade citizens' privacy (e.g., setting up cameras that take shots beyond the extent of the ordinary sight from a street)."

The president of the Office for Personal Data Protection, Igor Němec, told reporters at a press conference in Prague that it had received many complaints that Google's Street View cameras took images beyond those accessible from the street.

The regulator said that Google had responded, via a lawyer, on 17 September offering a technical solution to the issues raised. The regulator will consider this proposal.

The statement ends with: "Refusal of the registration does not prevent the possibility of further negotiations."

We've asked Google in the UK for its response and will update this story when we receive it.

For now Street View is working in the Czech Republic, or those parts of it which are covered by the service. We assume the ban prevents Google taking any more images in the country.

Germany yesterday gave Google until 7 December to set privacy standards for its Street View service.

Thousands of Germans have asked that their homes or offices be opted-out of the mass photo-grab, but some observers are calling for the system to be opt-in only. ®


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