Insights from the UK and beyond
Google’s “Street View” service has survived calls to have it shut down. The UK’s privacy watchdog has ruled that removing the service, which allows users to navigate around a 360-degree view of streets and houses in 25 cities, would be “disproportionate to the relatively small risk of privacy detriment.”
Google promised to obscure images of pedestrians or car licence plates but some slipped through the net. The media reported a number of embarrassing images including a man walking out of a sex shop and another being sick outside a pub.
The residents of one village, meanwhile, tried to block the cameras, claiming the service would allow burglars to scope out their homes. The campaign group Privacy International complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
A spokesperson for the ICO said: “Google Street View does not contravene the Data Protection Act and, in any case, it is not in the public interest to turn the digital clock back.