Google Street View goes live in Germany
Google Street View, the web-based photographic street mapping service, went online in Germany on Thursday, after months of public opposition, DPA reported.
Internet users around the world can now peruse panoramic street shots of Germany's 20 largest cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich.
Google blurred the images corresponding to 244,000 objections from
people who didn't want their properties to appear online.
German politicians and data protection experts were highly critical of the service. Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner led a campaign against Google over fears of privacy violation.
Nevertheless, Google said just 3 per cent of affected households had objected to being included on Street View. In each case, the photos of the property in question have been pixellated beyond recognition.
Individuals were able to register their objections by post or via an online form on the Google website.
Google Street View generated additional anger in Germany when it emerged that the vans trawling the streets to photograph buildings were accidentally capturing unencrypted wireless (WLAN) internet data.