Switzerland Tells Google To Take Down Street View

from the how-dare-you-provide-a-useful-service dept

Following a bunch of other countries, it looks like Switzerland is the latest to freak out over Google Street View and to ban it, just a week after it was introduced. Google is apparently surprised by this move, noting that it had been talking to the Swiss gov’t and had a bunch of privacy safeguards in place, which seemed to be working. Of course, you have to ask, are there surveillance cameras in Switzerland? If so, why is that okay when Google’s Street View is not? Surveillance cameras are real-time. Street View is not. Surveillance cameras do not blur faces/license plates. Street View does. Why is one allowed and the other not? Of course, given how many local gov’ts have freaked out about Street View, it does make you wonder why Google would launch it these days without first having assurances from the gov’t that it would be okay.

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Comments on “Switzerland Tells Google To Take Down Street View”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

(to continue from my last post). Then there is the possibility that the motive is to have some firm charge for these services (ie: see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090730/0130025706.shtml ). That would make more sense being that it follows the logic that they want to structure the laws to extract as much money away from you as possible. But still, it seems like I’m missing something.

HolaJohnny (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And how is this a reach? What will the public do with pictures taken one moment in time? See their neighbors dog defecating on their lawn? If it was real time I would definitely see where your going but your argument isn’t really clear here… Also as previously pointed out on this site many many times. If your going to personally attack or point out Mike. Maybe you can stop being a AC and register. If your willing to attack people you should be willing to defend that view. If you want to stay anonymous well then your a skank.

Ben says:


Mate… I’m Swiss and I can tell you, this article is misleading. Switzerland does not want to totally ban the Streetview. It just wants to take the service offline before all the complaints about privacy have been resolved.

I still think that’s pretty sad, actually, because once a complaint reaches google they only take a couple of hours to remove / blur the image.

I can only say: typically Swiss. Always aim for the perfect (impossible) solution.

HolaJohnny (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I hope you are indeed Swiss, for many reasons though the most predominate is I’d like to think here we are open to and hear views from all over the world. I also hope your right about this. I’d find it said to see any country burdened with a nanny state. The more times I hear about such governments/government attitudes the more I think we are moving backwards.

Ben says:


Yep, I’m Swiss, but living in Australia at the moment. (Probably because I wanted to have a break of Governments that rather do nothing than something that’s not 100% perfect.)
I read this post and found it disturbing, so I checked some of the (reliable) Swiss news agencies. They tell a slightly different story.

Yeah, too much nanny is no good and drives people mad (or out of the country).

mattarse (profile) says:

Re: This still completely baffles me.

I think it’s fair to have issue with Streetview and not be a google hater (I would fall into this camp). In the past google has not been very accommodating towards people with legitimate privacy concerns – I remember many complaints about google going into driveways and onto private roads.

I’m not against streetview per se, however I do have concerns about googles regard for privacy. Yes they may take down pictures people request quite quickly, but some of the burden should lie with google not to take those pictures in the first place.

Ana says:

in defense of the swiss


I live most of the time in NY, but have been spending a good chunk of the year in Zurich.
When I saw the phrase “nanny state” I felt I had to chime in.

I spend time in Switzerland precisely because it is NOT a nanny state – at least no where near what NY/America has become. The authorities here are very respectful of your privacy and actually treat you like a non-criminal – ex: it is much, much more pleasant entering this country as a non-citizen than it is entering America as a citizen.

You can swim here in the Limmat river at any hour, have a beer, even smoke a joint, and no one cares – no lifeguards, no signs, etc… I know that at parts of the Jersey shore in the US you cannot even throw frisbees anymore, bring your dog, or bring any containers of food or drink! My experiences here only make it clearer to me how unlivable America and most of western europe has become.

I also have seen the swiss versions of the google street view story. It does seem that they do not want to eliminate it permanently, just put it off line until all issues are solved. While the libertarian in me has problems with that, there is something to be said for swiss time frame.
Look – the swiss have remained stable for a thousand years b/c they move very slowly, and there is something to be said for that.

Anyway, just my two cents. The swiss guy in Austria should check out the states and then write back about what a nanny state really is 🙂

– Ana

Anonymous Coward says:


Swedish surveillance cameras are ALSO accessible to anyone in the world. They send data via IP unencrypted using the internet as its cheaper than creating their own network along with new cabling etc.

Some of the cameras use Wifi with WEP to send to traffic poles which then drop into a hard-wired network…so pretty much easily accessible to everyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Street view taken offline until Swiss politicians find a way to make it hurt ethnic minorities?

Swiss government are a fairly nasty bunch of racists atm who’ve banned “asylum seekers” (or as some of the politicians put it “dark skinned scum”) from going to various cities/places within cities. Segregation similiar to the US in the 1960s.

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