Google Testing German Camera Drones

Google is set to use drone aircraft mounted with cameras to capture clearer images for its Google Maps service in Germany.

According to tech news site Geek, the internet search giant has taken delivery of a camera-equipped 'micro-drone' aircraft from German company Microdrone.

In an interview with Wirtschafts Wochethat, owner and chief executive of Microdrone Sven Juerss said: (http://www.wiwo.de/technik-wissen/zivile-drohnen-fuer-google-437756/) "The drones are very suited to deliver up-to-date image material for Google Maps. We have good chances for a long-term business relationship with Google.”

Microdrone is a silent flying device that can fly as high as one kilometre above the ground. It can function manually or follow a pre-programmed route using GPS.

A German privacy watchdog has voiced concern over the use of the drones, as they are capable to capture images even at night.

According to Ulrich Lepper, privacy officer in Germany, the issue could create more severe problems than those caused by Google's Street View service, which was slammed for the "accidental" harvesting of payload data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks around the world.