calls for Data Protection Code

Mike Halsey MVP
Sep 20, 2010

Germany is the largest country in Europe where Google's controversial Street View has not gone live.  This is because of privacy complaints made about the service around the world.  Now the German government has called for a voluntary data protection code to be in place by 7th December this year, as reported by the BBC.

The announcement follows a meeting with Google, Apple and other companies to discuss how personal data can be accessed online and at a time when mainstream German newspaper Der Spiegel has reported several hundred thousand people have opted out of the Street View service.

The German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizeire, said in a statement that the code would enable users to obtain information on the gathering and intended usage of data "in a user-friendly way".

Google Street View allows people to use the Google Maps service to "walk through" streets around the world and while in some countries people have had car licence plates and faces obscured, the people of Germany will be able to have entire houses removed before the service launches in the country.

Germany has some of the toughest privacy laws in Europe and even a centralised agency responsible for overseeing privacy and data collection legislation with a data commissioner for every state in the country.

This has all come about after Google admitted "erroneously" collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks in over 30 countries using it's Street View vans.  Several countries including France, Germany and Australia are still investigating the affair and in the US, Google is facing a class action lawsuit backed by 38 states.


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  1. Online Ceiling fans said on June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Its very important to do data protection without protection of data nothing is saved.I think google is right

  2. Heinrich Heinzle said on September 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    As a German citizen I encourage Google to not only give up Street View in Germany entirely, I also wish Google to block German IPs from accessing Street View of other countries. It’s not okay to watch other people’s houses (or holiday places) online while blocking the view to our own streets. The house front photographed from the public street can’t be a privacy issue. Of course apart from the cases, if there is a _serious_ reason why it shouldn’t be visible at all (atomic power plants or military buildings etc.). Just my two cents.

  3. Matthias said on September 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Well – being german, this is just right. This has *nothing* to do with the wifi-disaster, Google says this is what everyone can see while on the streets – catch my drift ? You in India or Australia can’t see what’s up in my street – for a reason. Satellite view is ok, but there is absolutely no need to see where my dogs left their poop…

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