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Google launches its ‘blurred’ Streetview in Germany

3 November 2010 BY

There has been no country which has been so hesitant when it comes to Googles Streetview as Germany. Yes, in the UK there were people chasing Streetview cars, as were there people in France, Greece and Spain who highly opposed to the taking of the pictures. But nowhere the opposition was bigger than in Germany.

Now the biggest European country finally is accessible in Streetview. Well, a little bit. The Germans have demanded that before launching they could decide whether or not they wanted their homes to be in there. This resulted in the fact that Streetview now excludes 244,000 addresses that Germans have demanded be pixelated.

The reason for the German behavior lies in their history. With first the nazi’s taking away the privacy of the German citizens and later the communists the Germans are allergic to anything which can invade their privacy. Thus they opposed to Streetview. And Google cooperated by pixelating the houses which the Germans didn’t want in there.

The result? To be honest, Germany looks as if its been boomed again, but this time by Google. A “Google bomb” in a different way than we know it. It looks horrible. But then again, does it really matter to us? I don’t think it will make a huge difference to be honest.

But in the words of Eric Schmidt: “Streetview the cars we drive only once, you can just move, right?” My guess is that your house is more noticeable when its blurred like this than when it is not. But I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this…

A funny note: some of the people who demanded their house to be pixelated were happy to talk about it in the newspaper and have their pictures taken, with their names published with it, …. in front of their house….

AUTHORED BY:
h

Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
  • http://www.eknowwaytions.com Sascha

    Yeah, we rock! ;-) I remember Jeff Jarvis talking about our German behavior early this year. He said it’s kinda funny when a country, that has a huge nudism history, acts like this. We go naked to mixed saunas but complain about pictures of things that affect the public. Funny example, but somehow right :)

    The sad thing about it however, a lot of politicians have no idea of what they are fighting. It`s google, so it has to be bad. One politician even mentioned, that he once had a look at google maps and when he had a look again the next day, he could see, that his neighbour has cut his hedge….

    Google Analytics, Google Streetview….we will always find something to fight. Germans never rest ;-)

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  • http://www.frankoli.de/ Frank

    @Sascha:
    I read Jeff Jarvis’ comment too earlier this year and was astonsihed about its ignorance. It never occurred to me that all US citizens would have the same opionion on subjects like firearms law, environmental issues or nudism. “The German” does not exists, there are many different types of Germans running around here. It’s quite likely that the “nudists” are not the ones who got their houses blurred by Google.

    The sad thing about is that many politicians have used the uproar against Streetview to distract from other, more privacy-invading things, such as the law on telecommunications data retention, the SWIFT treaty or blocking certain servers by the police.

    While I can understand the resistance to things like Google Analytics or Facebook Like-Buttons, I don’t understand the fear of Streetview. Funny enough, for most people it’s vice-versa.

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