Czech Republic halts Google’s Street View cameras

The Czech Republic has banned Google from extending its use of the Street View mapping service due to privacy concerns.

The Czech Republic has banned Google from extending its use of the Street View mapping service due to privacy concerns.

The Czech data protection authority said that Google was invading privacy disproportionately by using high-level cameras capable of taking shots that go beyond the extent of ordinary sight from a street.

The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection said dozens of people had complained about photographs of the interiors of homes and people engaged in private activities as well as invasive shots of private property beyond fences, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The data protection authority also accused Google of failing to provide a representative to deal with personal data as required by European law, but added that it was open to further negotiations with the internet search company.

The move comes just days after Germany called for internet companies to draw up a data protection code because of concerns about Google's Street View service.

Google planned to go live with the Street View service for 20 German cities by November 2010, but has extended the deadline for citizens to opt out until 15 October.

Several European countries, including the Czech Republic, France and Germany, are investigating Google after the company admitted that its vehicles had harvested data from unsecured wireless networks while recording images for Street View.

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