Google to launch service to view British streets online

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 31 July 2008, 11:00 Hrs
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London: Google has cleared the hurdle of an anti-privacy case to go ahead with the launch this year of its Street View service which will offer ground level pictures of every British street online.

Street View faced opposition from lawyers who said it infringes civil liberties. Some said it would help burglars select their targets in advance.

Privacy watchdog Information Commissioner's Office, however, brushed aside the objections. "We are satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals, including the blurring of vehicle registration marks and the faces of anyone included in Street View images.

"Although it is possible that in certain limited circumstances an image may allow identification of an individual, it is clear that Google are keen to capture images of streets and not individuals," it said.

The watchdog was satisfied by Google's submission that it will have an online reporting window through which people can ask for their images to be removed from the system, reports The Guardian.

Google did not comment on the case, but the British launch of the service is expected later this year.

What is a craze in the US will now spread to Britain. In the US such is the popularity of the service that websites have cropped up to track Google's cars from which the staff shoot pictures of streets.

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