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Google faces court action over Street View

Internet giant Google is facing court action in Switzerland over its failure to meet demands for better privacy protection in its Street View service.

Switzerland's data protection commissioner, Hanspeter Thür, issued a statement on Friday saying that he would bring a case against Google at the Federal Administrative Court.

He explained that Google had rejected many of the recommendations he made immediately after it went online in the middle of August.

Faces and car registration plates had not been sufficiently blurred, and many pictures did not respect people's private sphere, said a statement issued by Thür's office.

Google said it was disappointed by the move, and would fight the case "energetically". It said the service was very popular in Switzerland.

Street View Switzerland was mapped by Google cars equipped with masts carrying special cameras to photograph the streets of seven Swiss towns. Viewers can take virtual strolls round the towns and see whatever happened to be there at the time the pictures were taken. and agencies