Google to reshoot street views of Japanese cities

May 14, 2009

(AP) -- Google said Wednesday it will reshoot all photos in Japan for its Street View service after residents complained the 360-degree panoramic images provided a view over the fences around their homes.

The Internet giant's service has triggered privacy complaints around the world, including most recently in Greece, where it was banned Tuesday.

The currently on the Web site were taken by cameras mounted on a stick attached to a car roof. Google Japan said it would lower the cameras after many residents said they were high enough to look over fences around their homes, company product manager Keiichi Kawai said in a statement.

Others have previously complained that on the service recorded vehicle license plates and laundry hanging in backyards. Rights groups have also demanded Google suspend the service.

Kawai said Google's decision to lower the cameras is designed to address concerns in , where many neighborhoods are crowded and privacy is tightly guarded.

Google also has blurred vehicle license plates in the images.

Google, which has covered 12 major Japanese cities, including Tokyo and Osaka, will continue filming in the country.

"We admit that there were concerns about the service. ... People said we might have neglected the privacy issue," he wrote. "We took their opinions seriously and made careful considerations."

But Kawai stressed the service has many benefits, including saving many from getting lost.

Since it was launched in 2007, has expanded to more than 100 cities worldwide. But it has drawn complaints from individuals and institutions that have been photographed, including the Pentagon, which barred Google last year from photographing U.S. military bases for Street View.

On Tuesday, a privacy watchdog in Greece banned from gathering images in the country for its Street View service until it provides more privacy guarantees than the current proposal to blur faces and vehicle license plates.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Greece bars Google's Street View pending details

May 11, 2009

Greece's data protection agency Monday barred Google from taking any more images on the nation's streets for its Street View feature, pending "additional information" from the US search engine service.

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.

Privacy group urges probe of Google cloud services

Mar 18, 2009

A US electronic privacy group has called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the security and privacy of Google's Web-based products such as email and photo services.

Recommended for you

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

2 hours ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

9 hours ago

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

18 hours ago

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

Aug 20, 2014

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

User comments : 0