Back in May 2010, German authorities poked around the issue of what information Google collected via its Street View cars, eventually leading to the search engine giant’s admission that it pulled personal information from unsecured WiFi networks. Thus began what has been an ongoing series of privacy concerns in Germany regarding online map services like Google Maps. To help allay these concerns, several companies have banded together to form a map-blurring service.
In 2011, Google ceased operation of Street View cars in Germany despite a ruling by the Berlin State Supreme Court that it was legal for the company to take the photographs. German residents could take advantage of an opt-out program to have their houses blurred on Maps, something that almost one-quarter of a million households opted for. Now, to help mitigate the myriad of privacy concerns, Google and several other companies have joined together to launch the service geodatendienstekodex.de.