We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Google's Street View may face UK suspension

Privacy group claims service breeches UK laws

Google's Street View mapping tool could be suspended in the UK if the Information Commissioner finds it in breach of UK privacy laws.

The software, which has not yet been launched in the UK, is an add-on to Google Maps and Google Earth that offers photographs of streets and cities. However many of the photographs feature passers-by who have been caught unawares.

According to UK privacy group Privacy International, the software breaks UK data protection laws because those pictured in the photographs haven't given consent.

"In our view they need a person's consent if they make use of a person's face for commercial ends," said Privacy International's Simon Davies.

In the US, Google has started trialling technology that blurs the faces of passers-by but Privacy International has voiced a number of concerns over this and has written to the software giant asking for a breakdown of the technology and the steps, if any, that Google takes to consult the public over the use of their images.

If Google doesn't respond to Davies' letter, he intends to ask the Information Commissioner to suspend the service in the UK.

"We've spoken to Google in the past about this and received a snide response telling us to look more closely at their blogs. We've been told by engineers at Google that the technology is not ready to be deployed," he said.

Google maintains it complies with all local laws.

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest news and reviews about the internet and internet tools, and to use PC Advisor's independent broadband speed checker

IDG UK Sites

Galaxy S6 UK release date, price, specs: When is the Samsung Galaxy S6 coming out? Samsung Galaxy S6......

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie, "There is currently a big gap between what schools teach and what designe"......

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...