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back to article Germans resist Street View invasion of privacy

Google's all-seeing Street View is attempting to convince German authorities that it should be allowed to retain "partially censored images" which Hamburg and 15 other states want purged from the search monolith's databases. Google has been negotiating over Germany's privacy laws which "generally restrict photographs of people …

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Welcome

To the United Stated of Google.

New citizens must be aware that you have no right to privacy and everything you do will be monitored so that we can improve our invasive technologies for the purpose of selling ads.

So please, enjoy your stay. Feel free to break any international laws that you please, but make sure you click the ads.

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Madness

Where would we be if we had no rules? FRANCE

Where would we be if we had too many rules? GERMANY!

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Paris Hilton

OK, correct me if I'm wrong...

...and I'm sure you will because this is the Reg comments we're talking about, but isn't their argument in both this and the pandemic stuff broadly akin to "You should let us shaft you now, because that way it'll hurt less when we do it later"?

PH, since I'm calling her as an expert witness...

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ask first?

Why is it so hard for companies these days to ask BEFORE they do what they like... because they expect not to get an easy yes...

Doesn't that tell us something, if we are not going to simply say yes without question, what makes you (google) think we will just accept it without permission... just because you own our governments?

Time for Google to die off, they are far too big for their boots.

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Black Helicopters

next time the bell rings

it will be the Google thought police. They want to install a camera in your toilet (but they will blur your arse with 99% accuracy)

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I'd post a comment...

... but because I've been blocking Google cookies for so long, I've died of swine flu.

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RotM

Hang on, "the blurring technology is self-learning and needs more data to improve".

Is nobody else seriously worried about this? What happens when this "technology/sentient A.I/skynet" decides that the easiest way to improve its service is by literally blurring the faces of people in the real world.

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Stop

I dont have a problem with this

so long as google will pay a decent (read: >=50%) percentage of the money it makes from ads back to the towns and cities that it voyuerises in order to make its money.

the second condition is that google must seek and procure explicit written permission to take pictures from each govournment + town (which should put that decision to a public vote). This is the only way in which people with concerns about individual privacy will be given a chance to make a difference, and its only fair to ask permission before getting a snapshot of a poor unsuspecting person, destroying their privacy and then making money from them.

google needs to be made (more) aware of how people feel about the issue, as its a sensitive one. the rest of the public also need to be informed - eg someone I know knew nothing about street view other than it was a useful goo-app. After 5 minutes of me explaining how they got all those photos and that they didnt need / didnt ask permission and then made money from it, she realised how naive she'd been and got understandably angry at google.

you know, I don't think there are any explicit laws against reporting black opels for dangerous driving / using a camera whilst behind the wheel........

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@John Coleman

'citizens must be aware that you have no right to privacy and everything you do will be monitored so that we can improve our invasive technologies'

Oh sorry - For a second there I thought you were reading from the New Labour manifesto...

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Unhappy

So what the majority of commenters here want...

...is new laws everywhere to prevent ALL OF US from taking a photo outside.

Yes, it should be illegal for any tourist to take holiday snaps, TV camera crews shall not report news, protestors cannot film violent police officers, etc.

The only place you should be allowed to take photos is inside your own home. Don't take your camera outside ever, or you should be jailed. If you do dare to take photos in a public place, then you are "Orwellian", you are a "big evil corporation", you are "the government". You couldn't possibly be doing it for any other purpose.

That's what you're telling me, it seems. I've just clarified it for ease of reading. Give yourselves a pat on the back for your display of common sense and logical thinking.

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@Peter Thomas

no, no, no.

There is a very big differenece between taking a picture and publishing a picture. You should be allowed to take photo's of whatever/whoever you want, but to publish them you should need the person's permission, especially if you are publishing them for comercial reasons such as advertising.

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RW

@ Jeremy

Old maxim: "It is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission."

IOW, act first, get permission later.

Google understands the wisdom of the ancients.

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@ Peter Thomas

I take your point but, while you can probably be Orwellian on your own, I'm pretty sure an individual can't be a corporation or the government.

Surely the issue here is in the use of the photographs, rather than the capture of them?

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privacy

Finally a country with privacy laws that understand the difference between "taking pictures for personal use" and "taking pictures for publishing". Unlike some of the commenters here.

All Google have to do is completely edit out people from the pictures. Their current "blurring" tech is a complete load of old cobblers. They also need to be taught to respect privacy fences and such. They're there for a reason.

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proto bourgeois "resurgence"

the difference between file sharing and privacy is only a skip away.... if they don't comply with laws their internet presence should be blocked at the isp level, as some" three strikes rules" have recently been initiated against users at the isp level. once again, different rules for corporations.... like a "fine" is going to deter this type of illegal action... unless it starts getting into the millions and effects public stock prices and public profits... then onto network media where such disparities should be developed.

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Unhappy

Whatever you do in public...

is public. Period.

Get over it.

Whatever you do in the privacy of your home, is your business and should remain private, despite wacky Jackboot's (& co.) best efforts of establishing a British STASI.

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Black Helicopters

@AC

"Whatever you do in public is public. Period."

Not in Germany, it isn't.

In one of his "Fifth Column" pieces in "Autosport", F1 journo Nigel Roebuck told the tale of Herr X, who attended the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim some time in the early 1980s. Frau X, watching the proceedings on the Wireless With Pictures at home, was surprised to see Herr X in the grandstand, and doubly surprised to observe that seated next to him was Fraulein Y. A miffed Frau X consulted her solicitor and in fairly short order Herr X found himself both single and considerably poorer.

Whereupon he sued the TV company for being responsible for his plight

And won.

The following year, race tickets had a disclaimer on the back, stating "if you get caught it's YOUR fault, not ours".

When I relate this tale to The Woman Formerly Known As Mrs Larrington (who is German) she was astonished that anyone would find this in any way odd.

Additional: Peter Thomas should be aware that under forthcoming anti-turrism laws, taking photos inside your own home may be very illegal if the subject contains one or more of the following:

o bleach

o nipples

o Marmite™

o empty Lucozade™ bottles

o children

o pets

o the Daily Telegraph™

o life-size cardboard figures of Mahmoud Ahmadinnerjacket

o anything else that Wacqui Jacqui dreams up while in the bath (please pass the Mind Bleach™)

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