Swiss Court Orders Google to Manually Blur Street View Images

The following teaser is from an article posted at

Google Maps Street View Google’s Street View mapping service infringes privacy, a Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court has ruled. Google must blur all faces, license plates, and ensure the complete anonymity of people near sensitive facilities.

“According to the recent ruling, everyone has the right to their own image. So basically no one should be shown without his consent,” according to the translation of the 20 Minuten Online report.

Among the court approved recommendations for Google to improve Street View:

  • Blur all faces and license plates (currently only 98 percent are blurred).
  • Guarantee the complete anonymity of people near sensitive facilities (e.g., women’s shelters, nursing homes, prisons, schools, social services, guardianship authorities, courts, and hospitals) by further blurring people’s clothes and skin color.
  • Exclude (or remove) images of private areas (e.g., walled gardens, courtyards).
  • Google must announce its itinerary in local papers of where and when Street View is scheduled.

Read the full article.

Hmmm… Who makes the decision as to what a “sensitive facility” is?

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

1 thought on “Swiss Court Orders Google to Manually Blur Street View Images”

  1. I was reading your article on Google and the recommendations they must follow for their Streetview application. I agree that determining what constitutes a “sensitive” location is a subjective matter and I know of a friend whose face got shown inadvertently on Google. I’m concerned at the power of Google and the fact that they seem to acting as the police of the internet. J Welsh

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