Google Street View put under scrutiny by German officials

THE German government said yesterday it will scrutinise Google’s promise to respect privacy requests by letting people opt out of its Street View mapping system and that it would be ready to intervene if necessary.

The response to Street View has been overwhelmingly negative, even though Germans have been given assurances they can have images of their homes kept out.

But Google’s announcement on Tuesday that it would allow Germans to stay out of Street View failed to allay fears that privacy would be compromised by the navigation system.

Consumer minister Ilse Aigner said: “We’ll take a very close look at how effectively this works in practice and we’ll see from there.”

More than 10,000 Germans have already formally requested their homes be deleted from Street View. Criticism from civil rights watchdogs will likely push that figure higher.