The Hungarian Internet news portal index.hu reported today that there are ongoing negotiations between Google and the Hungarian DPA regarding the introduction of Street View service for Hungary. The Hungarian Commissioner, András Jóri would not object to such data collection, provided that Google accepts the conditions to be laid down by the DPA.
Notably, the Hungarian Commissioner – similarly to the DPA’s of other European countries – objected to the data collection practices of Google when the Street View cars appeared on the streets of Budapest in the beginning of May 2009. The problem is that Google makes available the recorded data /pictures in its system prior to its anonimization, which may be considered as illegitimate data processing under the provisions of the Hungarian Data Protection Act. Further, the Commissioner also launched an investigation against Google, Inc. on 2 June 2010 which concerned the collection of traffic and communications data of Wi-Fi networks by the Street View cars. The letter of the Commissioner addressed to Google is available in English language here.
Following the Commissioner’s respective release, Google silently stopped its Street View project for Hungary and started negotiations with the DPA which may come to an end soon according to the information of index.hu. Meanwhile, a Romanian based competitor of Google Street View, norc.hu has already introduced its street view services for Hungary in the last year, and photographed Budapest, then the cities Debrecen, Győr, Hajdúszoboszló, Miskolc, Szeged, Szentendre as well as the area of the Balaton lake. It should be also noted, that there is no information available whether the Hungarian DPA raised any concerns regarding the introduction on norc.hu’s service for Hungary.