Google calls for Data Protection Code

20 Set/10

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.

© Mike Halsey for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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