Google Street View Gets Green Light in England

July 31st, 2008 at 12:00 am

street view blurred faces

Google met some opposition earlier this month when they tried to take pictures for their Street View feature in London.  Apparently, the English are more sensitive about privacy issues than the Americans and a privacy watchdog group complained to the British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) stopping the Google effort to continue.

The BBC reports that the issue has been resolved and Google can now resume snapping street photos in England.

In a statement the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it had requested a further meeting with Google to talk about Street View prior to the service’s launch.

It said the safeguards Google was putting in place, such as blurring faces and registration plates, were sufficient to allay worries about privacy.

The statement said: "Although it is possible that in certain limited circumstances an image may allow the identification of an individual, it is clear that Google are keen to capture images of streets and not individuals." 

In response, Google Spokesperson "Welcomed" the decision of the ICO.  "We’ve always said we will not launch in UK until we are comfortable Street View complies with local law," they added, "and that we will use technology, like face-blurring, licence plate blurring and operational controls, such as image removal tools, so Street View remains useful and in keeping with local norms wherever it is available."