- Associated Press - Friday, August 20, 2010

BERLIN (AP) - Google Inc. is defending its “Street View” feature against sharp criticism in Germany saying it has gone a long way to address people’s privacy concerns.

Google’s vice president for Northern and Central Europe, Philipp Schindler, told Thursday’s mass circulation daily Bild the company had found a unique data security agreement with German agencies as early as last year.

Schindler says that only in Germany are consumers given the right to opt out of having their homes shown on “Street View” before the feature has even started.

He says while Google is respecting people’s privacy, “there is nothing more public than the outside of buildings.”

Schindler says hundreds of thousands of Germans are using the feature to check out cities abroad.

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