Google Streetview Brings Privacy Fears On UK Doorsteps

Some see it merely as technology marching into new territories while others say that this is a clear "invasion of privacy"; Google Street View coming to the UK is leaving no-one indifferent and that's perhaps what Google is looking to capitalise on.

Streetview allows anyone surfing from anywhere across to world to view 360-degree panoramic high definition pictures of the vicinity and has already been implemented in the US since last year (see below).

Google Cars have been seen trawling the streets of Britain with six HD cameras mounted on top of their roof.

This has already lead to an official reaction from the Information Commissioner's Office who has asked Google for more details about how the photos will be used and whether individual privacy will be respected.

Many also fear that it would soon become a Burglar's shopping list as the detailed pictures could show everything from the presence of security measures to whether a house contains valuables.

Other critics say that it could also be used by terrorists to plan for even more precise and deadlier attacks.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the American company will be doing its best to protect people's identity and added "Google works hard to make sure that our products respect both users' expectations of privacy, and local privacy laws, in each country in which they are launched. Google Maps Street View is no exception."

Although faces will be automatically blurred using face recognition technology, car plates and other identifiable features (such as cloth colour or hair style) will still be distinguishable.