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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: Google: If You'd Like Us to Remove a Picture, You Must Send A Urine Sample  (Read 3930 times)

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A few weeks ago, the Mountain View company rolled out Street View, a special Google Maps function that shows street-level panoramas of several US locations. Obviously, some of the residents of the cities appeared in the pictures, a matter that raised privacy concerns from several users of the products. As we expected, Google quickly debuted a special function to allow the persons appearing in the pictures to remove them, but it seems that it's very difficult to do that without revealing your private information.
Kevin Bankston  from EFF discovered that he appeared in a picture published on Google Maps although nobody asked him for his
approval. Because he doesn't like to be a Street View model, he sent a message to the Googleplex to require the removal of the picture from the web-based version. The reply? Here it is:
"To request removal of your image from Street View, you must demonstrate that you are the person shown in the panorama you would like removed. We will temporarily remove the Street View image pending receipt of your ID verification. If we have not received a copy of your photo ID within 5 days, then we will restore the panorama back to Street View. Please note that we will investigate your complaint and take action as needed," Google said in the email according to Wired.
But that's not all. Google also demanded the legal name of the user, the email address, the URL of the photo, a special statement for the accuracy of the information and a readable copy of the driver license. Also, there is a deadline to send your private information to the Googleplex so you should hurry up to do this in 5 days.

After a few days, the folks from the Googleplex changed their attitude and sent another message to Kevin Bankston to demand him other private details. Now, you're only required to send your legal name and the location of the image. "By responding, you are representing and confirming that you are the person depicted (or parent/guardian) and that you seek removal of the image. Google will only use the information you send in this email for purposes of processing and responding to your request for the image to be removed," the email said.
According to Wired, Bankston sent a message to describe him and request the removal of the picture. "I am the dark-haired Caucasian fellow in the striped button-down shirt …" he said. After a few hours, the search giant removed the picture and replaced it with "The image is no longer available" message.
Of course, this entire story made all of us – including the main subject Kevin Bankston – make jokes about the removal of the picture. Maybe Google wants even more private information from us such as a urine sample or maybe an eye to check the retina for identification elements.
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