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Google Street View can keep up its Swiss watch, court rules

Updated 4 years ago

Anyone familiar with the Swiss knows that they’re a private sort of folk who don’t care much for the meddling of outsiders. This is a country, after all, that didn’t join the United Nations until 2002 for fear of losing its traditionally neutral stance in foreign entanglements. So you can imagine that Switzerland, which the New York Times says has “some of the strictest privacy safeguards in the world,” didn’t care much for Google snooping around its streets with its camera trucks taking pictures of everything in sight for its Google Street View Project. But the Swiss Federal Supreme Court Friday ruled that Google does indeed have the right to film and post pictures of Switzerland’s public spaces even if it can’t guarantee with 100% certainty that all the people it records will have their faces blurred out to protect their identities. However, the court also ruled that Google would have to lower its cameras to decrease the chance of peering over peoples’ fences and into their private residences. What’s more, Google will have to make sure to blur out schools, women’s shelters, prisons and other locations that the state deems to be sensitive.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.