Google, Switzerland agree on Street Views

Zurich, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Google and the Swiss data protection boss, Hanspeter Thuer, Thursday 17 December reached a temporary agreement on Google Street View while a Swiss government lawsuit is pending against the company.  Google will refrain from activating Google Street View, under the terms of the agreement, as well as any other Street Views in Switzerland taken for other Google products. Google has also agreed to accept as binding a court decision on the matter “and is ready to implement it with regard to images recorded for Street View in Switzerland, if and to the extent that the award requests so”, according to the official Swiss government announcement on the agreement.

Google nevertheless retains the right to use its cameras, at its own risk, while the court case is underway, but it cannot use the image on the Internet. The company has also agreed to move from monthly to weekly alerts to communities and neighbourhoods about its plans to film in their areas.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s Global Privacy Counsel, said after the agreement was reached that “We are pleased that we have come to this agreement with Mr Thuer, under which we can continue taking photographs for Street View. However, we will not put online any additional images on Street View until the decision of the Federal Administrative Court.”

Swiss Federal Data Privacy and Information Commissioner Hanspeter Thuer noted that “with this agreement the purposes aimed by the requested interim injunctions are fully reached. During the main procedures no further pictures will be published. The public will be informed in due course of any camera rides. In addition, Google commits to a final and binding Swiss court decision and to implement it with regard to images, which have already been transmitted outside of Switzerland.”

Background, GenevaLunch