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Austria Ends Ban On Google Street View; Google Unmoved
Austrian officials have lifted an almost year-long ban on Google Street View, but Google says it has no current plans to offer the service there, anyway.
According to the Austrian Independent, Austria’s Data Protection Commission (DSK) announced on Thursday that it was ending the ban that started in May 2010; that’s when Google admitted that its Street View cars had been accidentally collecting personal data over unsecured WiFi networks.
But that doesn’t mean Austrians should expect Street View to be available anytime soon:
Google Austria said today it was “happy” about the DSK’s decision, but added it had no plans to offer Street View in the country in the foreseeable future. The company refused to reveal when it might send its cars out on Austria’s roads.
Why not? It might be due to the restrictions that accompany last week’s decision. Among other things, Google would have to give Austrian residents the opportunity to blur their homes.
Or it could be because of this story from the Independent’s article:
The public debate regarding Street View intensified in April 2010 when an Upper Austrian pensioner threatening the driver of a Google 360-degree camera vehicle with a pickaxe. Hermann Zach from Steyregg said he became so angry at the sight of the car outside his home that he chased after its driver wielding an axe. Neighbours eventually managed to keep the 70-year-old man from following the Google employee any further.