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Thursday, October 21, 2010

244,000 Germans Opt Out of Google Mapping Service

Google said 244,000 people in Germany had asked the company to remove images of their houses and apartments from its Street View maps, but that the requests would not derail its plans to activate the service this year. In a blog posting on its Web site, Google said 2.9 percent of the 8.5 million households in Germany’s 20 largest cities had opted out of the service.

Google has been working to make amends with privacy regulators in Germany over Street View, and over personal data that Google inadvertently obtained off unencrypted Wi-Fi routers while collecting information for the service. Under its pact with German data protection officials, Google is blurring the image of entire apartment buildings even if just one apartment resident has requested to be removed from the archive.

After initially balking, Google in September gave German data officials a copy of the data it had mistakenly collected there. German data officials say they are evaluating the data Google provided.

The company faces both an administrative inquiry and a criminal investigation in Hamburg.

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