A number of diehard German Google supporters threw eggs at the houses of people who opted out of Street View, which launched there last week, adding another layer of bad press to an already controversial service.
Deutsche Welle revealed that several individuals threw eggs at a number of houses in the Bergerhausen region of Essen on Saturday, targetting those that had chosen to have their homes blurred out on Street View.
While that may seem like a simple act of vandalism, it came with fervent support for Google, as the vandals also taped notes saying “Google’s cool” to the mailboxes of those homeowners.
The Essen police department said that they were treating the incident as property damage and looking for witnesses, but admitted that there have been no leads on the perpetrators so far.
The option to opt out of Street View, which means that Google will blur your house to make it unrecogniseable, was introduced after the German government and a number of activists insisted that Google offer a way to allow people to retain their privacy.
A Google spokeswoman, Lena Wagner, was keen to point out that it does not support or condone the behaviour of the vandals. She said the company “distances itself completely” from them and others like them.
She also said that the option to opt out of Street View remains for those who request it and that Google will respect their wishes. The problem is that homeowners may now feel torn between wanting to keep their privacy and not wanting to have their houses vandalised.