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Google Street View to launch in Poland

12th May 2011
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Google Street View has announced that it is to start filming in Poland, with the service set to be available from early next year.

Warsaw, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Kraków are the cities selected by the American internet giant for its controversial web-based service.

Poles will be able to pick specific landmarks and attractions they feel deserve to be included; the most interesting will then be selected following a public vote.

Since its 2007 launch, Street View has been heavily criticized across the globe by those who see it as an unneccesary invasion of personal privacy. In Poland this issue has aroused similar levels of controversy.

Originally planned for 2009, Google had to shelve plans to launch the service in Poland after regulator GIODO's inspector general for personal data protection, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, raised concerns that the service might infringe on the county's privacy laws.

Following protracted discussions GIODO has relented but Dr Wiewiórowski told Dziennik Gazeta Prawna that despite agreeing to the service, he still intends to monitor its implementation.

Elsewhere, Google is threatening to cut its Street View service in Switzerland, following a recent court decision that requires the firm to guarantee 100 percent annonymity of faces and license plates in its imagery, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The service currently blurs about 99 percent of these images, but Swiss courts are demanding this figure is increased.

David Ingham

From Warsaw Business Journal

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