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Google loses latest round in Street View battle

A Swiss court has ruled that Google must guarantee anonymity before publishing faces and license plates in its Street View service in Switzerland.

A ruling published on Monday by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court affects any new ground-level pictures that the popular internet search engine publishes.

A court statement said the ruling upholds principles of privacy of control of personal data "regardless of the actual sensitivity of the information in question”.

Lawyers for Google had told the court that personal privacy was already guaranteed because of technology that automatically blurs faces and car plates, but conceded the service was not foolproof.

“We are of course disappointed with the decision,” said lawyer, Peter Fleischer, representing Google, adding that the company would consider its options, including the possibility of appealing to Switzerland’s highest court.

Google agreed in 2009 to temporarily stop uploading new pictures from Swiss cities after the country's data protection watchdog complained.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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