Czech Republic stops Google Street View

The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection has refused to give Google a licence to collect new images for its Street View services in the country.

Although existing photos on the search giants street mapping service can still be used, negotiations between the two sides are still in progress.

A spokesman for the Czech agency told Auntie that they had concerns over the legality of Google’s service.

“We do not have complete certainty the information [collected] is being processed according to law,” said spokesperson Hana Stepankova.

Stepankova added that talks with Google were continuing and that the agency would grant Google permission to resume data collection, providing the process could be done legally.

The temporary decision by the Czech Republic could come as a blow to Google, which has made itself unpopular in certain quarters over the long running Street View data SNAFU.

Last month Spain began an investigation on Google over its Street View snooping. It focuses on Google’s revelation that it amassed considerable personal data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks as it trundled along in its Googlemobiles mapping streets for Google Maps.

Google claims the data collection was accidental and blamed a rogue engineer for adding the questionable code to its system.

It’s also facing investigations by Australia, France and Germany. In the US, the issue has gone a step further with Google facing a class action lawsuit over data harvesting, as well as a large-scale investigation backed by 38 states.

And although it was recently cleared by the ICO over here in the UK, after it found that it had not collected “significant” personal details, it’s still under scrutiny by the Metropolitan police.

A spokesperson for Google said: “We’re disappointed, as we believe Street View is legal in the Czech Republic.

“We have in place robust procedures to protect privacy, such as face and number plate blurring and removal tool.”