Friday, July 04, 2008

Britain - the thorn in the side of Google

Following the recent furore over changes to Google's brand name bidding policy, executives would probably have been hoping for an easier ride for roll-out of the search engine giant's latest initiative from the US.

Google is reported to have been filming in the streets of London for its Street View additions to Google Maps.

But now it appears privacy campaigners are not happy at all - oh no, they are not.

Google has already started snapping away in France, but UK rights group Privacy International has kicked up a fuss about the Google car's presence on the streets of the capital.

[Pic from Tour de France cycle race route in France]

The BBC reports:

Privacy International has also asked Google about 'the steps, if any, that you have taken to consult the public over the use of their images for what is, in effect, a commercial purpose'.

Mr [Simon] Davies [of PI] added: 'Google likes to think of itself as a global player. In reality it is acting like an irresponsible adolescent.

'It's time for the company to take responsibility for its actions and to do the right thing.'

Now one suspects that unless a court injunction follows (unlikely), the efforts of PI will probably be in vain in this area.

Nevertheless, Google must be wondering what this annoying little island of ours has against it at the moment.

UPDATE: Techcrunch UK has a good picture of the camera-car in action.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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