Information Commissioner rejects Privacy International claims over Google Street View

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has rejected a complaint from Privacy International that Google's Street View tool breached the Data Protection Act.

 

The ICO claimed that the service was akin to members of the public being captured on television news camera or football crowds in the background of televised matches.

 

David Evans, the ICO's senior data protection practice manager, claimed that it was not in the public interest to change the way the service worked.

 

Evans said: “In the same way, there is no law against anyone taking pictures of people in the street as long as the person using the camera is not harassing people. Google Street View does not contravene the Data Protection Act and, in many cases, it is not in the public interest to turn the digital clock back.

 

"In a world where many people Tweet, Facebook and blog, it is important to take a commonsense approach towards Street View and the relatively limited privacy intrusion it may cause."

 

Privacy International claimed that Street View breached the privacy of people accidentally caught on camera by Google's photo cars.

 

Evans did however claim that Google should routinely blur images of people's faces and car number plates, and welcomed Google's quick responses to requests from people to have particular images deleted.

Sign up to our newsletters