Google Street View Launches In Germany (But With A Win For Privacy Advocates)

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Google may have ended its feud with the Federal Trade Commission, but its standing in Europe isn’t as cut-and-dry. Street View, the mapping service that has caused much consternation, has just gone live in Germany, but in a modified form. So far, the only place where it’s gone live is Oberstaufen in Munich.

Unlike, say, here in the U.S., where Google’s Street View cars can drive around with impunity, the Germans required Google to submit to popular will. Citizens there are able to opt-out of the service long before the cars come a-rumbling through.

Individual citizens can request to have their property blurred when Street View photos go live.

Google said there may still be some bugs in the system—a house that was supposed to be blurred wasn’t, for example—but that they’ll go out of their way to make everything right.

The German Street View is unique in that it’s the only implementation of the service where people can request ahead of time to have their property blurred. In the UK, you can request your property blurred, but only after the images have already gone live.

You can look at the area itself here.

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