Google Street View should not be closed down, Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says. The privacy watchdog has come down on the side of the search giant after a complaint was brought by a pressure group last month.
Google Street View has caused no end of complaints since the service rolled out across major UK cities last month: outrage at shots of people vomiting, mobs barricading villages from the Google Street View car, and even a complaint to the Information Commissioner that it breached the Data Protection Act.
But the service looks set to stay: the watchdog says Google Street View should not be stopped, despite the small risk of privacy invasion it carries. A spokesperson said that shutting down Google Street view would be “disproportionate to the relatively small risk of privacy detriment”.
At the moment, faces are automatically blurred out on Google Street View and anyone can request an image be taken down, but Privacy International, which brought the complaint, believes this is not enough, citing examples where people are recognisable and at risk because of it.