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Greece bans Google Street View due to privacy

Greece bans Google Street View due to privacy

Greek authorities have banned Google's Street View vans from roaming the country, at least until the company can provide Greece's data protection watchdog with a satisfactory reason to continue.

Street View provides 360-degree images taken from cars equipped with cameras and GPS driven around cities throughout the globe.

The Hellenic Data Protection Authority barred Google from taking anymore pictures in Greece until it answered how long the images would be kept on Google's database and what steps the company has taken to inform residents about encroachments on their privacy.

In a statement, Google said: "Google takes privacy very seriously, and that's why we have put in place a number of features, including the blurring of faces and licence plates, to ensure that Street View will respect local norms when it launches in Greece.

"We have already spoken with the Hellenic Data Protection Authority to ensure that they understand the importance we place on protecting user privacy.

"Although that dialogue is ongoing, we believe that launching in Greece will offer enormous benefits to both Greek users and the people elsewhere who are interested in taking a virtual tour of some of its many tourist attractions."

The intrusive Google product has come with a storm of controversy since it launched in the US in 2007.

Last month, residents in a village near Milton Keyes set up a human roadblock to stop the driver of the Google Street View van from entering their community.

Google Street View was also the target of a civil lawsuit in the US earlier this year, which was thrown out of court due to baseless claims.


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