Google removes street images over privacy complaints

Mar 20, 2009
US software giant Google said Friday it had removed several images from its Street View software, which allows web surfers to view parts of 25 British cities, after users raised privacy concerns.

US software giant Google said Friday it had removed several images from its Street View software, which allows web surfers to view parts of 25 British cities, after users raised privacy concerns.

Street View displays 360-degree ground-level images captured by roaming cars using digital photography equipment.

The cars began taking images last summer, and continue to capture images across the country, allowing the service to expand after its launch here on Thursday.

Just 24 hours after its release in Britain, however, said it had removed several pictures, including ones that users found embarrassing, such as one of a man leaving a sex shop in central London's Soho neighbourhood, or another one of a man vomiting outside a pub in the east of the British capital.

A spokeswoman for the American company declined to confirm the precise number of photos that were removed, but said it had been "less than expected."

Individual Internet users who do not want either their image or that of their home to be used in can request it be taken off Google's database by filling out an online form.

Google says it has developed sophisticated that ensures that individual's faces and vehicle license plates are blurred.

After initially being launched in the United States in May 2007, Street View is now available in Britain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 3

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russcelt
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2009
Where did this expectation of privacy in public places come from? Is this some form of directed backlash over the use of cctv and security scanners that see through clothes? Why are Google and the main-stream media subjected to restrictions in so-called 'public places'? Is it ok for the security services to have no personal privacy boundaries?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2009
Where did this expectation of privacy in public places come from?




Probably from the place that implies when in a specific place in public at any one time your limited to an audience from 1-1000ish...not 2-3 billion...
h0dges
5 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2009
I wish they'd just photoshop stuff out instead of the dreaded blackness.