back to article Google calls halt on German Street View

Google has confirmed it will not be collecting any more pictures for its Street View service in Germany. The decision, taken in light of objections from German privacy regulators, means you can still see images for 20 German cities already covered, but there will be no expansion, or updating of images. A Google spokesman told …


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  1. XMAN
    Thumb Down

    They will continue

    What's the chances that those cars aren't just collecting street names and are actually continuing to collect pictures as normal. And then one day they'll accidentally end up on Street view because a "single staff member made a mistake".

  2. James Hughes 1

    I just don't understand

    Street view just doesn't seem to be as bad as all the press makes out. As a product it is pretty useful, and the safeguards to blur faces, plates and houses seem more than adequate.

    I just don't get it.

    1. James Hughes 1

      C'mon people

      I have no problem with thumbs down, but please explain why. I really would like to know.

  3. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Opted out

    This whole streetview thing gives me the creeps. To google's credit, once I told them to eff off, they soon removed all the pictures of my house and garden.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Go on then...

      ...what can I see on Google that I can't see from the street?

      What most people (especially the press and politicians) don't seem to get about streetview is that it's point in time. Listen to the press and politicians and you'd think it was a live service. The images are becoming ever more out of date and they won't be updated nearly as often as the overhead images. If they are ever updated at all.

      As a tool for criminals they are next to useless. The resolution and detail are crap, you could certainly do a better job of casing the joint just by walking past the house in question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        '...what can I see on Google that I can't see from the street?'

        My neighbours' back garden, for example, over the high fence. Until Google were told to take it down. And yes, they do have young children.

        Are we there yet?

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      2. JohnG

        How tall?

        "...what can I see on Google that I can't see from the street?"

        If you are about 2.5m tall.

        " The resolution and detail are crap, you could certainly do a better job of casing the joint just by walking past the house in question."

        That depends on how close the house is to the street - some Streetview images have enough detail to identify the presence and type of window locks, the presence of alarm sensors, etc. Taking a good look at the security arrangements for a house in person is likely to attract attention from local residents.

        Google have been fairly sensible in giving people the option to decide whether their own property should feature on Streetview.

  4. jnievele
    Thumb Up

    No they don't

    According to a message at, Kay Oberbeck has announced that Streetview will NOT be stopped in Germany:

    1. claudia64

      Germany won't stop them, but ...

      Germany won't stop Google, but Google has made the sensible decision to stop photographing in a country where its service is clearly (mostly) not wanted. I'd like to see Google invest more money on Street View for streets here in the U.S. Most of our rural area imagery, and even that for some of our cities and large towns, is horribly low resolution.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And future historians will weep

    For while the rest of Europe will have access to a treasure trove of data documenting the very fabric of our society, Germany will miss out.

    The doomsday book will look like a light novel compared to Streetview...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    What have they got to hide?

    Funny how it's the Germans who are first to hide away from Street View, Last time they were hiding what they were doing it only took a couple years for WW2 to start.


    (but not to Poland)

  7. John Sturdy

    a bit OT: are they re-photographing in the UK?

    I saw what looked like a Street View camera car on the A1303 Cambridge-Newmarket road this morning, heading east -- are they updating pictures every few years, or might it be a rival? I don't think it had a German number plate, though, so probably not a displaced one from there.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: a bit OT: are they re-photographing in the UK?

      Yes they are. Last month one of the cars pulled alongside my mother as she was walking the dog. He wanted to know how to get to a village nearby, and what the name of the village he just drove through. I would have thought they would have known to be honest.

      My mother didn't think much of it and didn't know who it was, she just explained it was a funny car with a mast on it and google stickers with lots of nationality flags plastered on it. The driver when asked said he was a "Google street runner making maps", she recollected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        are they re-photographing in the UK?

        Major roads and city centres according to Google. And picking up some bits they missed last time I shouldn't wonder.

  8. TeamEvil

    Whats the problem

    I still don't get the big opposition to having photos of your house on Streetview. If somebody wants to rob you I'm sure that they would just do a quick check of your house in person a few days \ Hours before.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whats the problem

      I remember looking at Google Street View in Germany a while back and was suprised just how many houses were blurred out, therefore it seemed that there were a lot of people who were opposed to it. It's their country at the end of the day.

      I'm suprised that there's a lack of Google Street View in the alps though, despite being major tourist spots.

      1. Sam Therapy

        At the end of the day...

        It's their country at the beginning of the day, too. It's also their country at any other, non-specific time of the day.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Is Germany

    Banning all aerial photography as well?

    1. Thorsten
      Black Helicopters

      If it's high res, then yes

      "According to German law it is not permissible to violate the protected privacy of a person by means of photographs from airplanes or helicopters. (BGH, verdict from 9 December 2003, AZ: VI ZR 373/02, - aerial photographs of a holiday house)" (source: Wikipedia, my translation)

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