All work on the Google Street View project has ceased in Germany, with changing business priorities cited as the reason.
The process of bringing Google Street View to Germany was fraught with difficulty, strict privacy laws and a lack of enthusiasm from the general public being just two of the obstacles faced. Although the project was eventually given the go-ahead, it was by no means welcomed. Although Google agreed to the proviso that German citizens be permitted to opt out of the service, the four-week deadline given was widely criticised as being too short. Equally, Google’s failure to set up a hotline to take questions about the service did not win them any friends and it is possible that the subsequent data snatch scandal was the final nail in the coffin. A German court has ruled that Google was breaking no laws by taking photographs from the street but it would seem that for the Street View project, it’s too little, too late.
Speaking to Search Engine Land, Google has stated that it has “no plans to launch new imagery on Street View in Germany.”
The spokesperson added:
“Our business priority is to use our Google cars to collect data such as street names and road signs to improve our basic maps for our users in a similar way that other mapping companies do.”
The precise reason behind this change in business priorities remains unclear, although it is being speculated that the number of citizens choosing to opt out of the project – meaning that many sections of images have to be blurred out – is a factor.
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