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Microsoft removes Bing Maps Streetside service in Germany due to privacy concerns

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Microsoft has been forced to pull the Streetside feature from Bing Maps in Germany due to concerns over how the company handles the blurring of certain images.

Microsoft Streetside Offline in Germany
Microsoft Streetside Offline in Germany

Microsoft has been pushing out updates to Bing and its related services lately in an attempt to wrest marketshare away from Google, but the company is now having to take features away from Bing Maps in Germany due to local complaints. The Streetside feature — Redmond's riff on Google Maps' Street View — was taken offline yesterday after issues were raised over the way the company blurs items in the various images used in the service. German users have proven particularly strict on this issue, with 244,000 German households requesting images be blurred in Google's Street View before the feature launched in Germany in 2010. In a public statement, Microsoft spokesperson Thomas Baumgärtner stated that the company had decided to remove the service for the time being until it decides upon a way to handle the different blurring requests it has received. As of this time, there's no timeframe for when the feature will be reinstated.