World

Because there is no Google Street View in Germany

Monitor Europe on Google Maps with the Street View mode activated, which allows you to look around from the perspective of a vehicle on most of the continent’s roads, you will notice that in correspondence with Germany, the dense blue lines represent the coverage of the service. Nearly fifteen years after the introduction of Street View, it is in fact possible to travel only a very small part of the streets of Germany: it depends on strict laws to protect privacy, which Germans are particularly sensitive to due to the past. The pain of the Nazi regime’s control of individual freedoms first, then the German Democratic Republic (DDR).

Street View was launched in 2007 and today it extends to almost all countries of the world, while for geographical or political reasons it is almost completely absent in some African countries and in countries that are not transparent, such as North Korea or Turkmenistan. By moving the Little Yellow Man (Guide) on the Google Maps map, you can also view very remote places, such as oil rigs in the North Sea or remote locations in the Amazon, but not the streets of any medium-sized German city. .

If we exclude the most populous cities, in reality, Germany is the only large western country that has not allowed broad street street coverage.

It was an announcement that Google wanted to map the twenty largest cities in Germany by the end of 2010 He was greeted with great distrust and dissatisfaction By government and residents alike. Consumer Protection Minister at the time, Elsie Aagner, He said That the mapping that Google wanted to do “violated people’s rights in a million different ways”; Several Google cameras were vandalized and the company received about 244,000 requests from Germans demanding that the mapped facades of their homes be hidden.

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The government debated at length how to protect the privacy of Germans while at the same time making Google street mapping possible, and in 2011, the German Constitutional Court settle down Acquiring street-level photos and placing them on the Internet does not violate any German law: but in fact, in the following years, Street View mapping did not continue in Germany, as it did in other European countries. The privacy protection issue has also created resistance in Austria, where Google started uploading photos for Street View starting in 2017.

German privacy laws set very restrictive standards for processing personal data to protect individuals. According to many observers, the current rules are primarily derived from the trauma associated with the Control of personal freedoms, Which was practiced by the Nazi regime first and then the German Democratic Republic from 1950 until shortly thereafter The fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). Both Gestapo (State Secret Police “State Secret Police”) that Stacy (Ministry of State Security, The Ministry of State Security) was in effect responsible for monitoring everyone who could represent a “danger” to the nation, such as political opponents and people suspected of sympathizing with the government, as well as foreign visitors. The right to privacy is practically non-existent and any transgression is punishable by intimidation or arrest, in the best of cases.

In 1970 the central state of Hesse was the first to introduce one Personal data protection law Eight years later, the Federal Law was enacted to protect the data of West German citizens at the time. The most recent law in this regard is 1990 (Federal Data Protection Act), Which was amended between 2009 and 2010 with some amendments that specify, among other things, obligations and responsibilities in the event of violations by public bodies and private companies.

Single results Studio It was published in 2015 by Harvard Business Review She found that 80 percent of Germans are reluctant to share their information because “they simply want to preserve their privacy.” Also according to this study, Germans are particularly sensitive to the issue of sharing their data with the government, publishing data on their health status, credit card expenditures and communicating via the Internet.

Also read: Do you have to worry about the new privacy rules for WhatsApp?

Come Had noticedeconomic Several years ago, German privacy laws seemed inconsistent with many aspects and services that had become daily and basic in rich countries, but new generations seem to be more confident about sharing their data online, so things will change.

It so happened that privacy laws have hindered the provision of public services, especially in recent times. At the start of 2021, for example, she was in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony Great confusion Compared to calling people over the age of 80 to be given the Coronavirus vaccine. The state authorities complained about their inability to access official citizens’ records due to obstacles related to privacy laws, and therefore decided to refer to the postal database, according to which data protection standards set by the regulations are respected. But again for privacy reasons, the mailing database didn’t always include people’s birthdates, so officials found themselves forced to guess whether or not those to be called were over 80 years old, based on how long their name had taken. Baptism was considered ancient.

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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