Twenty German cities yesterday partially surrendered to Google's Street View, as the Great Satan of Mountain View finally rolled out the results of its spymobile invasion. During extended arm-wrestling with the German authorities, Google agreed to allow citizens to request their properties be blurred before the service went live …
Taking that Berlin example...
It does seem a bit random. Take the Berlin example, and move the streetview point due south (so you're now on the other side of the dual-carriageway), and look in the same northwards direction. Un-fuzzy building revealed (in all it's boring-ness).
And, more generally, Google helpfully provide links to the Picasa images, which haven't been censored out.
They should have
They should have blurred out every building in that scene - some really ugly examples of prefabricated concrete uglyism there!
Building blocked out on one image only...
The AC is correct. The building is only blocked out from that single street. If you move down and look back? Or what happens if you have a tall building and then go around the block to the next street where there's a shorter building. Is the building blocked out of that background?
And the larger question... Did they also ditch their wi-fi data too? Not the stuff they slurped up, but also the wi-fi SSIDs they also slurped. After all, if they are going to allow opt-out, then they should also opt-out all of the data references to that location. (Hint. They can pinpoint the source of the wi-fi signal so if its in a building opt-d out, they can remove that too.)
Picasa and Panoramio are under protection of a german law allowing the free depiction of public viewable property if its non-commercial and only for private purpose.
The twenty cities and Oberstaufen have roundabout 8 million private and commercial properties, compared with 244.000 blurred ones result in the 3%. But that didn't work, cause large buildings with owner-occupied flats are blurred if only one of them asked Google to do so. Google didn't blur single condominiums, only complete buildings. I am waiting for the first complaints about that.
Our landlord advised all tenants that requesting a blurring on Street View will be a violation of his property rights and will result in indemnity cause only messy buildings and such of fringy social groups are blurred. A blurring will result in a loss of value and usability.
His estate management had done the same arrangement for the condominiums.
And don't forget, there are millions of people in Germany thinking that Street View is something like a live webcam gawking through your bedroom window.
Picasa and Panamorio used in this way are clearly not private so it's presumably only a matter of time before someone in Germany takes them on.
Sounds like you've got a twat for a landlord but I think the right to data self-determination as enshrined in the constitution trumps his property rights.
Anonymous 'cos I don't want my landlord complaining to me after I had this admittely shabby place blurred.
>Picasa and Panoramio are under protection of a german law allowing the free depiction of public viewable property if its non-commercial and only for private purpose.
So how long before we get a project on Picasa or Panoramio to collect as many (un-blurred) images of the blurred buildings as possible?
Come to think of it, couldn't Google kick-start the project by donating the un-blurred versions of each streetview photo they blur? (Much as Google replace search results subject to DMCA takedown notices with a link to Chilling Effects - which shows the censored link)
Somehow I think the German's desire for blurring will get the Streisand Effect. Game on.
Street View is not a public service
The images are not being used privately and Google isn't being altruistic. It is a commercial offering funded by advertising. Permission of concerned parties must be obtained and any appropriate fees paid in such cases. This is possibly analogous to the YouTube fiasco with Google hoping to sit out anything legal battles but if anyone does sue and win you can expect some class actions to come thick and fast.
Unblurring the blurred
>So how long before we get a project on Picasa or Panoramio to
>collect as many (un-blurred) images of the blurred buildings as possible?
There are already a couple of projects that have stated that they would explicitly target those.
Street View, Berlin, 1936
Do they not realise .....
that from Streetview to satellite view is only two clicks? Paranoia is clearly alive and kicking in Germany.