What you need to know
- Google will send Street View cars to capture new imagery of the streets starting on June 22, 2023.
- The company will comply with the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information for privacy concerns.
- Users can still opt to effectively hide or pixelate their homes, and both faces and license plates will be automatically blurred.
Google has announced that it is bringing back Street View for the streets of Germany. Users in the country will receive new footage allowing them to view updated streets, landscapes, and buildings.
For the uninitiated, Google first brought Street View to Germany in 2009. However, the rollout was halted due to privacy concerns, leading Google to effectively abandon Street View in Germany and leaving citizens with outdated views of some areas over the past 10+ years.
Google notes that things have changed in the years since then, including the buildings and streets of Germany. Additionally, the search giant surveyed a group of 1500 German citizens regarding their perception of Street View. According to the research, 91% had a positive view of the feature, which bores well for the feature to return to Germany.
Considering the aforementioned factors, Google will start retaking new pictures with its Street View cars in Germany starting June 22, 2023, which will provide updated imagery of the country for Maps.
After Google starts putting out Street View imagery through Google Maps, German citizens will "get the same benefits from new Street View images as people in other countries around the world."
Google is working with Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information to avoid any privacy issues. As part of the process, Google will remove Street View images of Germany over 13 years old and replace them with new imagery taken with Street View cars from 2022 and 2023.
Google will allow German citizens to request at any point that imagery related to their residence is blurred. By default, Street View will blur faces and license plates.
It is good to see Google Street View effectively returning to Germany, as the outdated imagery could lead to some confusion between what is shown on the standard map and Street View.
Last year, Street View launched again in India after the rollout was halted in 2016, citing security reasons.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.