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Finnish Police Probe Google for Privacy Breach

Finnish police in Raahe have launched an investigation into Google's Street View map service for a suspected breach of privacy laws.

Google Maps Helsingin Suurkirkko
Image: Timo Nurmi

Police in Raahe, some 600 kilometres north of Helsinki, began the investigation Thursday at the request of a man whose picture could been seen online on Google's Street View maps.

The map service includes a picture of the man sitting on his back porch with his pants down. The man’s face was blurred; however, his home and address were in plain view.

Street View, launched in Finland earlier this week, allows users to take a ground level panoramic view of some locations on Google Maps, based on still photographs taken by specially-equipped vehicles.

According to officials, the investigation, the first of its kind in Finland, will determine whether Google broke the law for unauthorised surveillance and if the Internet giant violated privacy legislation when the images were taken and posted online.

Street View was launched in the United States in 2007. The service, which is now available for 20 countries, has been scrutinised by privacy watchdogs around the world.

Google Launches Finnish Street View

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