GENEVA — Switzerland's supreme court has ruled that Google doesn't need to be perfect when it comes to privacy.

The Internet giant has won a partial repeal of a lower court decision that required the company to guarantee absolute anonymity for people pictured in its popular Street View service.

"It must be accepted that up to a maximum of 1 percent of the images uploaded are insufficiently anonymized," the Swiss Federal Tribunal said in a statement Friday.

The court said Google still has to make it easy for people to have their images manually blurred, and must ensure total anonymity in sensitive areas such as schools, hospitals, women's shelters and courts, where skin color and clothing must also be obscured.

The Lausanne-based tribunal additionally upheld part of the Federal Administrative Court's ruling last year that Google must stop automatically publishing pictures of private gardens and courtyards taken with cameras positioned higher than 2 meters (6 1/2 feet).

Google welcomed the supreme court verdict but left open whether it would now withdraw its previous threat to remove all pictures of Switzerland from Street View.

"We will now look at the ruling closely, discuss it with the federal data protection commissioner and examine what options are available," said Daniel Schoenberger, Google's legal chief for Switzerland.

Switzerland's privacy watchdog had wanted an absolute guarantee of anonymity in Street View, an online service that allows users to take virtual tours of cities and towns in dozens of countries around the world.

During a court hearing last year the data protection commissioner Hanspeter Thuer used a live version of Street View to demonstrate examples where the software failed to obscure faces of adults and children in public – including outside the court itself – and even peered into private homes.

While data protection laws in Switzerland are particularly strict, Google has faced privacy concerns in many of the countries where Street View is available. In Germany, residents can request that entire buildings be blurred to protect their privacy.

Thuer said he was satisfied with the ruling as it confirmed that foreign companies also are subject to Swiss privacy law.

Google has one of its biggest offices outside the United States in Zurich, where hundreds of engineers develop new services for the company.

As part of a publicity drive in Switzerland, Google has used its Street View cameras to photograph the country's ski slopes and spectacular Alpine railway journeys.

Also on HuffPost:

Flip through the gallery to view the craziest sightings from Google Maps and Google Earth.
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  • 'Atlantis' Underwater City, Atlantic Ocean

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jenius"></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jenius">Jenius</a>:<br />

  • Italy's Big Pink Bunny

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=44.244273,7.769737&spn=0.002206,0.004227" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/134186/in_pictures_the_strangest_sights_in_google_earth.html" target="_hplink">PCWorld</a>)

  • Mystery Figure

    Via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr0qiivJZgI&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">YouTube</a>.

  • Blue Tree, Australia

    View it at <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=2005&c=&t=k&hl=en&ll=-34.073198,150.75777&z=19" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Bottomless Pit, Libya

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35314" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • Iraq's Mysterious Red Lake

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=33+23%2746.08%22+N+44+29%2717.03%22E&sll=33.550551,-44.483643&sspn=4.046476,9.799805&ie=UTF8&ll=33.396999,44.488063&spn=0.007918,0.01914&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1881770_1881787_1881782,00.html" target="_hplink"><i>TIME</i></a>)

  • Comet

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35336" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • 'UFO'

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35315" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • 'The Badlands Guardian,' Alberta, Canada

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50+00%2737.76%22+N+110+07%2700.86%22W&sll=33.225406,-111.595216&sspn=0.003967,0.00957&ie=UTF8&ll=50.010952,-110.11513&spn=0.006095,0.01914&t=h&z=16" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.canada.com/globaltv/edmonton/story.html?id=977b4fcb-81ad-4c44-bbfa-baaa800c6dc5&k=30095." target="_hplink">canada.com</a>)

  • The Firefox, Oregon

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&om=1&z=16&ll=45.123785,-123.113962&spn=0.012112,0.024097&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • KFC Mapversiting, Nevada

    Read more about this advertising strategy <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,229308,00.html" target="_hplink">here</a>. View the real thing at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.646,-115.7507&spn=0.01,0.01&t=p&q=37.646,-115.7507" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Capsized Boat, Iraq

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=30.541634,47.825445&z=16&hl=en&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Triple Rainbow, South Carolina

    Via <a href="http://www.rodsbot.com/google-earth-3665.htm" target="_hplink">RodsBot.com</a>.

  • Desert 'Crop Circle,' Nevada

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.401437,-116.86773&z=15&hl=en&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/134186/in_pictures_the_strangest_sights_in_google_earth.html" target="_hplink">PCWorld</a>)

  • 'Eat Pecans,' New Mexico

    View it at <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=585&c=&ll=32.241354,-106.707501&spn=0.006405,0.009673&t=k&z=0&hl=en" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Crop Circle

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35292" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • Truck Accident, North Dakota

    Via <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/2007/03/truck-crash/" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Expletive

    Via <em><a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/10/giant-profanity/" target="_hplink">The Register</a></em>.

  • Concentric Shapes

    Via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr0qiivJZgI&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">YouTube</a>.

  • Pac Man

    Via <a href="http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/11/crop_circles_in_goog.html" target="_hplink">Google Earth Blog</a>.

  • Jesus Loves You, Idaho

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=43%C2%B038%2743.00%22N+115%C2%B059%2733.50%22W&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=43.645268,-115.992622&spn=0.002756,0.007178&t=k&om=1" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.dvhardware.net/article14647.html" target="_hplink">DarkVision Hardware</a>)

  • World Peace, Ontario, Canada

    View it at <a href="http://www.rodsbot.com/google-earth-3660.htm" target="_hplink">RodsBot.com</a>.

  • Dino Maze, England

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&t=k&ll=52.55885,-1.057756&z=17" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Swastika Building

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Coronado+CA&t=k&ll=32.676138,-117.157763&spn=0.001508,0.002596&om=1" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Greenland Oddity

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tobiasaurusrex"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/641629-tiny.png?20100701194750" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tobiasaurusrex">tobiasaurusrex</a>:<br />At 70* North, 40* West in Greenland, there is a massive, marbled prism sumberged in the snow, and a censored block as well.

  • Freeway love for Gina

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tarzan1234"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tarzan1234">tarzan1234</a>:<br />Sighted on freeway 520 in Seattle, Washington

  • Strange Patterns Over Myton, Utah

    via Patrick B.

  • Kenya Multiple Swastika Buildings

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/kipper84"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/kipper84">kipper84</a>:<br />This is in Nairobi Kenya close to Kenyatta Hospital

  • Abandoned Ships from the Aral Sea

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Quwhellyicquid"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1015319-2-tiny.png?20100715131311" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Quwhellyicquid">Quwhellyicquid</a>:<br />Ships now are on dry land since the Aral Sea has dried up

  • Area 52 - Nelis Air Force Base

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1179470-tiny.png?20100823235041" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey">the odyssey</a>:<br />Greek columns on a building in Nevada: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.678399,-116.670154&spn=0.002654,0.005584&t=h&z=18

  • Area 52 Pyramid?

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1179470-tiny.png?20100823235041" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey">the odyssey</a>:<br />Pyramid looking thing and censored area in the Nellis Air Force Base / Area 52: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.835547,-116.727076&spn=0.021183,0.044675&t=h&z=15

  • Subdivision in Canadian Wilderness

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Paul_Nodwell"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/624261743/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Paul_Nodwell">Paul Nodwell</a>:<br />Must be a google earth glitch Lat 45.63d x long -78.333

  • Lake Huron Sunken Ship

    via <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=43.005428,-82.408721&spn=0.002758,0.004801&t=h&z=18" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>

  • 'Missing' Planes

    Via <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=40.219488,-76.854939&spn=0.001016,0.001722&z=19">Google Maps</a>

  • Giant Human Shadow Close to Area 51

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/zman977"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/zman977">zman977</a>:<br />A giant human like shadow close to Area 51 with other weird things by it. The shadow measures out to be about 90 feet.