The introduction of the service to the UK hasn’t been without controversy, but the ICO says that Street View does not break privacy laws – it’s more like a televised football match where obtaining the consent of every attendee is impractical.
To try and quash privacy complaints, Google already blurs faces and number plates from its service, and will take down any pictures on request. The ICO said it would continue to monitor the situation.
A small village in Buckinghamshire has thumbed its nose to the world, and refused to allow Google to index its streets. Broughton, which is close to Milton Keynes, has suffered a few burglaries in recent months, so when the Street View car rolled into town, they formed a human chain across the street to stop it going any further.
“My immediate reaction was anger,” said resident Paul Jacobs “how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent?” The villagers called the police and accosted the driver, accusing him of “invasion of privacy”.
Google, for thier part, issued a statement saying that the vehicle was using public roads and wasn’t breaking any laws. They also reminded the public that anyone can remove their house from the service, and they also blur faces and vehicle number plates.
The street view car has recently been spotted in Reading, Preston, Ipswitch and Winchester. The service recently went live in London, but has been available in the USA for years.
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