Google gets blurred in Germany

Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Google gets blurred in Germany

    There are fears, oft-discounted but still harbored by at least one Israeli intelligence official, that terrorists might use Google Street View to plan terrorist attacks. If so, Google’s offices in Munich are safer today, because they are blurred in Google Street View, according to CNET’s  Technically Incorrect.

    Apparently a neighbor of Google’s office in the German city took advantage of the company’s willingness to blur the images of people who want privacy.

    Google viewing service, rolled out in 20 German cities this week, has drawn more than 244,00 blur requests and considerable opposition, according to Spiegel Online. Fifty percent of Germans polled say they oppose Street View.

    Germans are sensitive about privacy, perhaps because of the unhappy national experience with messianic techno-chauvinism. The Googlers live in the muliti-national technocracy which often regards such feelings as irrational or out-of-date.

    But such sensitivities are real, and if the Googlers are smart (not a given), they will pay attention.

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