- Associated Press - Thursday, November 18, 2010

HAMBURG, GERMANY (AP) - Internet users can now take a virtual tour of 20 of Germany’s largest cities on Google Inc.’s panoramic Street View program _ but they won’t always get a full view.

The Internet giant put 3-D images of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and 17 other cities online Thursday, although some buildings were pixeled to respect privacy concerns.

Google’s Street View plans prompted a surge of concern over privacy in Germany, with officials arguing Google could capture people in situations they want to keep private. More than 245,000 Germans requested that the pictures of their homes be blurred.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger cautioned Google in an interview with the daily Hannover Allgemeine Zeitung against “taking data protection lightly.”