A Switzerland court has told Google that they must guarantee that the faces and license plates captured by its Street View cameras are completely unrecognizable in order to safeguard the privacy of the people. The court wrote, “The anonymity of individuals must be ensured. Every person has a right of privacy with respect to his or her own image. No one may be photographed without his or her consent.”
Currently Google obfuscates faces and license plates with an automated process, a process the Swiss courts say isn’t good enough. Instead Google must manually blur every instance of a face and license plate to ensure that individual privacy is respected.
Google’s response? That manually bluring instances of faces and license plates is financially and logisically infeasible. Switzerland isn’t buying it. When you grossed $29 billion last year, it shouldn’t be a surprise when the court says “All privacy breaches could be avoided, but this would entail additional costs for the defendants, as they would have to make images (even more) unrecognisable in part manually. The additional costs would obviously not, however, jeopardise the commercial survival of the defendants.”
Google doesn’t have much of a choice if it wants to continue offering Street View to Switzerland.
[via: All Things Digital]