Google Street View suffers new setback as Swiss information commissioner calls for it to be taken down

Google's controversial Street View service has been hit again with the Swiss privacy watchdog telling Google to take it down as it violates Swiss privacy law.

According to Outlaw.com, Switzerland's federal data protection and information commissioner Hanspeter Thuer said that the service should be shut down and that he would meet the company to discuss how it can be brought into line with Swiss privacy law.

He said in a statement: “The federal data protection and information commissioner Hanspeter Thuer calls on Google, to take the online service, Google Street View, immediately from the net. The requirements of the protection of privacy are not fulfilled by Google Street View.”

The Swiss commissioner has said that too many faces and number plates were visible because they were ‘not at all or not sufficiently blurred', and called on Google to rectify the product and ensure that the published photographs are in line with the Swiss legal system.

A spokesperson for Google said: “We were surprised by the DPA's announcement. We have been engaged in constructive dialogue with the organisation ahead of this week's launch to demonstrate how we protect people's privacy on Street View. And we're ready to do so again or to answer any additional questions.

“Since launching last week, we have received very few removals requests. However, we're very pleased, where removals or where further blurring have been requested, for example where we have missed the occasional face or licence plate, that the technology has been working so effectively and that in most cases images have been removed within hours.”

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