It’s no secret that Google Street View caused a splash with privacy groups in the United States when it debuted in May, but there was ultimately no legal reason for complaint since all of the photos were taken on public streets. The same may not be true in Canada, where tougher privacy laws prohibit publishing photos of identifiable people without permission.
According to Reuters UK, Google may actually have to blur our faces and license plates from its Street View images if it launches the service in Canada. The only legally justified reasons for publishing identifiable images of non-consenting parties in Canada are for “journalistic, literary or artistic purposes.” Since Street View is strictly a commercial venture, Google would have to bend to the laws to stay within them.
Google currently hosts imagery from nine U.S. cities, but none in Canada. Google’s privacy counsel told Reuters that several Canadian cities had approached Google wanting to be featured for the potential tourism it could bring.