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Google to cooperate over privacy concerns

Google has agreed to work with Switzerland's data protection watchdog to respond to privacy concerns over its new Street View service.

This content was published on August 25, 2009 - 18:50

After meetings with Google representatives on Monday and Tuesday, watchdog Hanspeter Thür issued a statement saying that Google had promised to inform him within a week about how quickly and to what extent it can improve its product.

The data protection office is expecting to receive specific proposals and it will then decide whether they are sufficient.

On Friday Thür said the Street View of Switzerland should be taken offline immediately, because the company had not sufficiently blurred faces and car number plates as it had promised to do.

The Swiss version of Street View, which allows users to take virtual strolls around seven Swiss towns, went on line on August 17. Google has agreed to hold back for the moment on adding any more Swiss regions.

Thür said in his statement on Tuesday that it was important for complaints to be sent to his office, since he needs to be kept informed. However, complainants must ask Google directly for images to be removed or blurred.

Peter Fleischer, the Google official responsible for data protection, told the Swiss news agency on Tuesday that over the course of a week the company had received just over a thousand requests to this effect.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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