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article imageGoogle threatens to close its Street View service in Switzerland

By Ernest Dempsey     May 12, 2011 in Internet
Bern - Google will be shutting down its Swiss Street View service if the country’s apex court does not dismiss an earlier ruling of a lower court that requires absolute anonymity of the people photographed for the Google Maps services.
FT.com tells that Google’s Street View service, which provides photos of houses and streets in cities in 27 countries, caused privacy concerns in some countries, including Japan and Switzerland. While the issue was resolved in other countries through Google’s efforts, in Switzerland, it was taken to the court of law by Swiss data protection watchdog. Swiss federal data protection and information commissioner Hanspeter Thür filed a motion in the court in November 2009 to stop Google from carrying on with its photography for the Street View service.
Last month, an administrative court in Bern decreed that Google must blur faces and license plates of vehicles in its photos. This came almost at the same time when Google announced that it would stop photography in Germany despite winning a court case in March 2011 in the country that allowed photographing at the resolution used by Google in its Street View service. But in case of Switzerland, Google seeks to get the lower court’s ruling dismissed by the Swiss Federal Tribunal.
According to The Next Web, Google already tried to blur faces in photographs following the earlier court’s ruling, but complaints continued on account of failure of the company in blurring the faces 100 percent.
If Google fails to get the desired decree from the apex court in Switzerland and subsequently shuts down its Swiss Street View, it will be the first time that the company is obliged to permanently discontinue its Street View service in a country.
More about Google street view, Swiss Street View, Google in Switzerland, Swiss Federal Tribunal, Google privacy
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