Street View Taken to Court in Switzerland

The Swiss federal data protection commissioner is taking Google to court. Hanspeter Thür argues that Google’s blurring of faces and licence plates in its Street View imagery of Switzerland is insufficient and that Google has not complied with his recommendations, reports:

The data protection commissioner wants Google to ensure that all faces and car plates are sufficiently blurred, remove pictures of enclosed areas such as walled gardens and private streets, and declare at least one week in advance which town and cities it plans to photograph and post online.
“Faces and vehicle number plates are not made sufficiently anonymous from the point of view of data protection, especially in cases where the persons concerned are shown in sensitive locations, such as outside hospitals, prisons or schools,” Thür told …
“The height from which the camera on top of the Google vehicle films — two metres 75cm — is also problematic,” Thür pointed out. “It provides a view over fences, hedges and walls, with the result that people see more on Street View than can been seen by a normal passer-by in the street.”

Rather than asking that the imagery be taken down, Thür is asking that no new imagery be posted for the rest of the year. Google plans to fight the case. See also Associated Press and BBC News coverage.