Google Streetview

I’m sure you know this view or, at least, a similar one. Yes Google-Streetview. A wonderful thing if you want to take a closer look at sights, restaurants or what else you’re interested in. However, if you’ll look at the image above you might notice one thing: When it comes to Germany there’s a huge blank.

Yes, you’re right. We don’t have the Streetview mode here, but it’s not for the lack of technology. No, that’s not the problem. We have the same technology level as you do in the States or any other industrialized country has. The problem’s a different one: DATA PRIVACY.

Yes, we Germans are very, very picky when it comes to our data privacy. Whatever reason that may have. Anyways, for the last months there have been huge fights with Google, about whether they are allowed to install Google-Streetview in Germany and how data privacy will be maintained. The general statement that faces and license tags would be pixeled didn’t go far enough here.

Now, finally, after weeks and weeks of public discussions and quarrels the government and Google have reached an agreement: Google may take the photos and apply the same techniques they have in the rest of the world, but they have to delete the view for any address if the owner asks so. That’s good. Very good. I’ve already downloaded the form to raise the objection.

Why? Well, simply because I don’t want Google to decide what they show of my privacy and what not. If they want to use the picture of the house I’m living in, they have to come to my door, ring the bell and ask if they can take the picture and publish it on the Internet. Period. Of course, I’m blogging. Yes. This puts me into publicity. Yes. BUT I can decide freely what I want the world to know and what not. I know that everything I tell about me here can be read all over the world, by everyone. But it was MY decision. Not Googles.

So just in case you were hoping to soon get a better view 😉 of Germany I have to dissapoint you. Not many Germans are willing to have the world look into their gardens. There will be a lot of blocked houses, I’m sorry…


3 thoughts on “Google Streetview

  1. We are looking for a house in WNY and without google street view searching thousands of miles away makes it so hard. Now we can see the neighborhood and gardens etc…it’s such a great tool.

  2. wow i had no idea germany did not have streetview yet. good for you for sticking it to google and making them comply with the government requests. when it came to vancouver, i was a bit worried about it. privacy seems to be such a hot topic these days esp with facebook’s constant changes whcich seems to be a big step backwards for user privacy.

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