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Google to Appeal Street View Ruling in Switzerland

Chairman and CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt listens during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011 (file photo)

Internet search giant Google says it will lodge an appeal with Switzerland's highest court after a lower court ruled the company's Street View service must obscure all of the faces and auto license plates before making its pictures available.

Google says if the ruling is not overturned, it will be forced to close down Switzerland's Street View service, which provides panoramic views of the world's streets.

The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court in Bern followed a complaint by Switzerland's data protection commissioner, Hanspeter Thuer. Google says it must rely on an automatic blurring system, which Thuer says is not completely reliable.

The Street View service has sparked similar privacy complaints and legal challenges across Europe and around the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.