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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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: Greece bars Google's Street View pending details

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

March 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.

Recommended for you

Google, EU dig in for long war

July 20, 2017

Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use

July 20, 2017

From aerospace and defense to digital dentistry and medical devices, 3-D printed parts are used in a variety of industries. Currently, 3-D printed parts are very fragile and only used in the prototyping phase of materials ...

Swimming robot probes Fukushima reactor to find melted fuel

July 19, 2017

An underwater robot entered a badly damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Wednesday, capturing images of the harsh impact of its meltdown, including key structures that were torn and knocked out of place.

Microsoft cloud to help Baidu self-driving car effort

July 19, 2017

Microsoft's cloud computing platform will be used outside China for collaboration by members of a self-driving car alliance formed by Chinese internet search giant Baidu, the companies announced on Tuesday.

Making lab equipment on the cheap

July 18, 2017

Laboratory equipment is one of the largest cost factors in neuroscience. However, many experiments can be performed with good results using self-assembled setups involving 3-D printed components and self-programmed electronics. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.