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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Filed Under: privacy, street view, switzerland
Companies: google

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  1. identicon
    Ana, 25 Aug 2009 @ 6:29am

    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

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