Swiss Govt. Not So Neutral On Google Street View

Just days after it was launched, Google Street View is now under attack in Switzerland.

On Friday, a Swiss privacy official issued a statement demanding that Google “immediately withdraw its online service Google Street View concerning Switzerland.” Thuer apparently did some Street View browsing of his own and felt that Google hadn’t adequately blurred license plates and people’s faces.

According to InformationWeek, the Swiss complaint came as a surprise. “We were surprised by the FDPIC’s announcement. We have been engaged in constructive dialogue with the organization ahead of [last] week’s launch to demonstrate how we protect people’s privacy on Street View,” says a Google spokesperson.

Thuer met with Google reps today — Google called the meeting “a good exchange of views” and indicated they’re open to additional discussions. Google says very few Swiss users have asked Google to remove Street View images, and when they have, the deletions happen within hours “in most cases.”

In fact, Swiss consumers seem to be quite happy with the service. Google attorney Peter Fleischer tells the AP that “Google Maps had an 80 percent increase in volume and only a small number of requests to erase pictures.”

Street View remains open in Switzerland at the moment.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | 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.

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