Germany data protection official threatens Google Street View

Thursday a German data protection official threatened search powerhouse Google with “unspecified sanctions” should the company not conform with the country’s strict privacy laws regarding the use of Google Street View.

German data protection regulator for the city of Hamburg, Johannes Caspar, relayed that officials were leaning toward using force to pursue unspecified sanctions unless Google provided written guarantees agreeing to alterations before 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday. Google’s German headquarters is located in Hamburg.

It seems the two entities are of differing opinion when it comes to 12 points involving the operation of Google’s Street View. One example is that in Germany, there are privacy laws in place that forbid distribution of pictures taken of individuals on their property without their consent.

Currently,Google is posting the captured data and removing it when a subject/property owner makes a complaint. Some are concerned about Google’s handling of the data it records that has been removed. In Germany, private citizens may also sue Google in German court for unauthorized filming.

In the city of Kiel on the Baltic Sea, residents placed stickers on their doors last year warning Google not to film their property on Google Street View. Google has been diligently compiling photos of France, Italy, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands and more in Europe since 2008 for its new Street View feature. Thus far, approximately 300 people in Germany have voiced complaints to officials regarding the filming.

Google has not yet determined a date for introducing Street View into Germany, which is the largest of the European economy. Both sides are working to resolve the impasse. Relayed by Blue Interactive Agency, South online marketing firm.