Google Considers “Anonymizing” StreetView In US

Google’s StreetView program has been shadowed by privacy concerns arising from the capture of license plate numbers, people’s faces, and other potentially embarrassing images. To address these issues, Google set up a system where users could request images be removed. However arguably the embarrassment or damage has already been done by that point. Now, as Google expands StreetView globally, IDG News reports the company faces more stringent privacy regulations in Canada and Europe that will require the company to preemptively blur or otherwise remove personally identifiable images before they’re published.

Privacy counsel Jane Horvath is quoted in the IDG article saying that Google is actively considering doing the same in the US, although it is not legally required to do so: “As we launch those products we will be thinking within our product teams whether this is something that we’d like to do within the U.S. also.”

I would expect that Google will do so within the US, since it has to do this in other markets globally. It makes sense and would eliminate persistent concerns about what is otherwise a valuable product.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Legal: Privacy


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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.

Comments are closed.

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