European Data Protection Digest

Schmidt Addresses Street View Concerns

ONLINE PRIVACY—GERMANY

September 10, 2010

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke to the German publication Bild on Thursday, inviting Germans to use Google's street level mapping service, Street View. "I can understand the worries very well," said Schmidt, "But we firmly believe that Germans will love Street View and will be convinced after they have used it." The Local reports that Google plans to add Germany's 20 largest cities to Street View, which currently includes cities in 23 countries. In answer to regulators' pressure, the company now offers German citizens the opportunity to have images of their homes and businesses pixilated prior to the launch. "I visited East and West Berlin before the Wall fell," said Schmidt, "I know what many Germans had to go through, and I have the greatest respect for the fact that your privacy is so important because of your historical experiences."
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