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Google refuses to help coppers with their inquiries

by on07 January 2011

Tells them it needs a court order
While Google seems ok with handing over information to advertisers, it is less keen to help a couple get back their stolen caravan.

Street View cameras might help Derbyshire police solve a crime which may have been captured by Google's cameras. However the search engine is saying that it will not hand over an uncensored verson of the image unless it gets a court order.

Coppers have pleaded, without any success, with the internet giant to release the car registration plate of a car they believe may have been involved in the theft of a family caravan. The caravan's owners spotted the picture on the Google site months after their caravan went missing. A man and his 4x4 parked are next to the caravan outside the Soanes' home.

However, in common with Street View's usual approach, the number plate of the vehicle has been blurred out.
Google has said it will only provide details of the number plate if Derbyshire Police get a court order, which officers are now trying to do.

But when police asked Google for a copy of the original, the company refused unless the force could get a court order. Officers are now trying to do that. A Google spokesperson explained: 'It's very important to Google and our users that we only provide information if valid process is followed, as laid down by governments in law.

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