Munich. The controversy over Google Street View continues. The latest idea from Germany is that Google must pay one euro fee per citizen.
With "Street View" Google is building 3D Images linked to maps of the world on the Internet. The result is not only a gigantic free public service but also a potentially unlimited advertising space.
For the future it might look like this: when users click through the streets of a photographed city, they get to see not only the facades of the houses, but also advertising. Even today the nearest hotel, bar or petrol station can be found on "Google Earth". According to TZ, Google Street View is planned to start late in 2010 in Germany. CSU Bundestag member Johannes Singhammer is convinced that commercial reasons are behind the project and wants a piece of the pie; Google should pay one euro per citizen to the local municipality, he said to the newspaper. The communities should be allowed to voluntarily decide whether to levy the charge after their areas were photographed.
State Secretary Franz Josef Pschierer (CSU) from the Bavarian Ministry of Finance finds the idea of his party colleague unrealistic. As long as Google cars with the cameras on the roof keep to the traffic rules there is nothing he can do - always assuming that individuals, house numbers and car licence plates should be concealed. "I can not prohibit any tourists taking photos from Marienplatz and putting them on the Internet." The same opinion is Gemeindetags Spokesman Wilfried Schober: "Every road is opened for public purposes," he explains.