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Google Street View banned from Greece

May 25, 2009; 12:45 AM


Google Street View cars have been banned amid fears of becoming a 'Big Brother' society.

Fear amoung Greeks has grown over "creeping" new technologies and Athens's data protection agency has banned Google's Street View drivers from the country.

In order for google to proceed, the search giant has been ordered to provide concrete guarantees that the service was not an invasion of personal privacy before being allowed to capture images of Greece.

"We are not going to allow our country to become a Big Brother society," said one agency official, who asked not to be named.

As part of the required information, goggle would have to outline how long it planned to keep images and what steps it would take to make people aware of rights they have if photographed by street view.

The data protection agency does not accept Advance warnings by the drivers of camera-equipped Google cars.

Google insists privacy protection is a priority for their street-mapping service.

"Google takes privacy very seriously, and that's why we have put in place a number of features, including the blurring of faces and licence plates, to ensure that Street View will respect local norms when it launches in Greece," the company said.

A "dialogue" with the Hellenic Data Protection authority was ongoing, it said.

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