BERLIN – Google Inc. said Thursday it would double the amount of time allotted to Germans for opting out of having their homes shown in its “Street View” feature, which has sparked a fierce public debate over privacy concerns.

Germans will now have eight weeks, instead of four, to request that images of their homes be deleted, said Philipp Schindler, Google’s vice president for Northern and Central Europe. He stressed that Google has committed itself to an extensive series of measures to protect people’s privacy, “far beyond those in other countries.”

Last week, Google announced its plan to introduce “Street View” for the 20 biggest German cities later this year. At authorities’ insistence, the company created an online tool that Germans can use to request that pictures of their homes be removed before the service’s launch — something Google hasn’t done anywhere else. “Street View” is currently available in 23 countries.

Many officials and politicians pressured the company to extend the deadline for people to opt out.


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