Info commissioner receives Google privacy complaint

Privacy campaigners have made a formal complaint about Google’s controversial new mapping service.

Privacy International has lodged the complaint with the Information Commissioner over claims that a number of people are identifiable through the Street View service.

A Google spokeswoman said: “The ICO has repeatedly made clear that it believes that in Street View the necessary safeguards are in place to protect people’s privacy.

“The fact that some people have used the tools in place to remove images shows that the tools work effectively.

Scores of pictures, including one of a man exiting a Soho sex shop and another of a man being sick on the pavement outside a pub in Shoreditch, were removed from Street View on Friday, a day after its fanfare launch in the UK.

An ICO spokesman said it was Google’s responsibility to make sure all vehicle registration marks and faces were satisfactorily blurred.

He said: “We will look at the complaint that Privacy International have made and we will respond shortly.”

Director of Privacy International Simon Davies said: “Our attitude is the whole thing is unlawful, we don’t much care whether the Information Commissioner has given it the thumbs up.

“We’re proposing a suspension of the whole system until an investigation has been undertaken and at that point we can reach a conclusion as to whether it is lawful.”

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