Saturday, December 20, 2008

Japanese Group Asks Google To Shut Down Street View

According to a Reuters report, a group of Japanese lawyers and college professors have asked Google to shut down Street View and and delete all saved images of Japanese cities.

Citing concerns over privacy and stating that Google might have violated privacy rights the Campaign Against Surveillance Society, a Japanese civilian group headed by Yasuhiko Tajima, a professor of constitutional law at Sophia University in Tokyo as reportedly asked Google to stop providing detailed street-level images of Japanese cities on the Internet.

"We strongly suspect that what Google has been doing deeply violates a basic right that humans have," said Yasuhiko Tajima, in an interview with Reuters. "It is necessary to warn society that an IT (information technology) giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service," he said.

According to Reuters Google had no direct comments choosing to instead reiterate the Street View privacy policy stating it was blurring the faces of people seen in Street View scenes by special technology and that it would delete the pictures of people and buildings upon request.

This isn't the first time Google and Street View have come under scrutiny. Earlier this year, in stupid news of the week, we reported that a Pennsylvania couple sued Google alleging Street View violated their privacy by posting street level photos of a private drive way. While the US doesn't currently place restrictions on street level photographs Japan has stricter protections on privacy in public than we do. Given these restrictions its possible that the Japanese might be able to stop their pictures from being used against their will.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Thing is they can stop their pictures from being used anyway by contacting Google and requesting removal. In any case, Location View was providing Street Level imagery of Japanese cities before Google was. With a little help from your favorite online translation tool, you can see for yourself at, where you can register, log in and view the images.


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