Google said it believed the new policy complied with EU law.
The new policy, which is automatically applied without the internet user being inconvenienced by being asked for their consent, will see a photo of them in just their pants emailed out to every IP address within a 100m radius on Google Streetview every time they use Google, YouTube or Blogger.
But data regulators in France have cast doubt on the legality of the move and launched a Europe-wide investigation. “This is a gross invasion of internet users’ privacy”, said EU spokesman Christian Éclair.
“Pants and a vest, maybe. But not just pants.”
Google has reassured critics that anyone can opt out at any time, simply by dying.