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ICO rejects Google Street View complaint

No clear evidence the service is harmful

The Information Commissioner has ruled that Google's Street View is not a privacy threat.

The add-on to Google Maps and Google Earth offers photographs of streets and cities and was launched in the UK last month. However, Street View has come in for much criticism after it was revealed a number of inappropriate images were available on the service.

Privacy International complained to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), claiming it had seen at least 200 images where people's faces had not been blurred in photographs - a requirement made by the ICO when it initially gave the service the go-ahead last year.

"In our opinion, there is no clear evidence that the community find Street View particularly harmful or insidious," said the ICO.

"If consent were required by the law, then the producers of, say, Match of the Day, would have to gain the consent of all people attending televised football matches who might be caught on camera."

The ICO also said it would continue to monitor the service and deal with any web users that say Google has not removed inappropriate images.

Privacy International said it was "disappointed at the findings".


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