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This article was published on August 22, 2011

Google Street View gets the green light in Israel

Google Street View gets the green light in Israel
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

After nearly being shut down in Switzerland, sued in Oregon, and paying settlements amounting to  €100,000 in France and €150,000 in Belgium, the controversial Google Street View is coming to Israel.

Following three months of negotiations, the Israeli Justice Ministry has given Google the go-ahead, but like its European counterparts, the green light is dependent on certain conditions. Surprisingly, some of these conditions are not as stringent as they have been in Europe.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the deal states that Google has to offer an efficient and reliable way for residents to blur out personal information, including license plates and homes, before they are published online. In the interest of transparency, Google must also provide complete details on the routes that the camera crews will be using.

The final conditions placed on Google relate to litigation: any civil proceedings relating to the service will take place in Israel, and not in Google’s home country and Google has “promised not to dispute criminal claims that might be raised against Street View by arguing that the Law, Information and Technology Authority lacks standing to prosecute criminal claims against the company in Israel.”

When the service launched in Germany, residents were provided with the option to opt out, or in other words, have their homes blurred out, due to concerns over privacy issues. Strangely, a minuscule 2.89% actually decided that they wanted their homes blurred out.

Israeli business daily Globes reported that 70% of 5,000 people voted in favour of Google Street View in a poll on the government’s services and information portal. Google has yet to announce when and where the service will launch in Israel.