Members of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party have requested Google "make a few additional modifications to address local specificities to ensure Street View better aligns to local interpretations of privacy requirements across the whole of Europe." It has been asked that the original "unblurred" images only be kept for as long as necessary. Google has suggested this will affect the quality of Google Maps, admitly using weak arguments in the face of privacy advocates:
it'd be pretty annoying if you couldn't find the phone number of that little deli across town where you think you might have left your purse, because our software mistook the phone number for a license plate.
Google's latest article refers to a statement issued when the service was originally launched. It explains that US law regarding "public spaces" differs wildly to the rest of the world. With the focus now on data retention, it will be interested to note the results. It may open the door for more "public space" data acquisitions, and subsequent retentions, on a street near you.