Czech Republic: Google Street View Invades Privacy

Google’s Street View continues to face resistance, particularly in European countries where the service has more recently been rolling out.

Today brings news that privacy officials in the Czech Republic are refusing to allow Google to resume capturing images with its Street View vehicles. According to a story in The Guardian, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection says that Street View “disproportionately invades citizens’ privacy” and might violate Czech law.

The country began investigating Street View in April — six months after Google launched the service there. Google agreed to suspend Street View photography and data collection until it finished negotiating with Czech officials. But according to The Guardian, Igor Nemec, chairman of the Czech privacy agency, isn’t satisfied with those negotiations.

[Nemec] also expressed concern about the technology used to capture the panoramic images, saying the cameras built atop Street View cars are too tall (2.7 metres), allowing photographs to be captured “over the fence”.

Earlier in the week Nemec said Google had failed to comply with obligations incumbent on companies collecting data in the country. “A data [collector] seated outside the European Union is obliged to appoint a representative on the territory of the Czech Republic. Google Inc, an American entity, has failed to do this.”

Google tells The Guardian that it has met “most conditions set out by the government,” and that Street View only publishes blurred images of faces that are photographed. Czech residents can also ask to have any image removed from Street View.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Critics | Google: Outside US | Google: Street View


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide