Privacy concerns cause Bing Streetside to be shut down in Germany

Having a picture of your house appear in Bing Streetside is apparently causing some problems for a few German citizens. GigaOM reports that Microsoft has now decided to cut off access to its street level mapping photo feature in Bing in Germany after some people in that country expressed concerns about the service.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

We have learned that there are a limited number of customers in Germany who have raised concerns about their blurring requests. As we take privacy and data protection of our customers very seriously, we decided to take down the StreetSide Beta service in Germany, while evaluating these individual cases and working on a solution.

Bing Streetside started taking pictures of German streets for Streetside in May 2011, but the company did give German citizens the option to request that pictures of their homes be blurred out of the Streetside feature. PCWorld.com reports that in March 2012 the company said it had over 31 Germany cities, including Berlin, as part of the Streetside program. Microsoft said that it will continue to take pictures for the service while it remains shut down.

Google has also run into problems with having its Street View service updated in Germany over similar privacy concerns.

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