Software Removes Pedestrians From Google Street View Images

Pedestrians can be removed from images on Google Street View thanks to a new program developed by a graduate student at the University of California.

The still unnamed computer program replaces photographs of people captured by the Street View cameras and replaces them with pixel representations of background buildings, foliage and pavement.

The program is said to be still in the experimental stage, and so struggles to replace images that don't have a flat background.

The newly developed technique is expected to become an important tool to protect user privacy in the future.

Since the start of Google's Street View project, people have continually raised concerns over their privacy as images have been captured of people unwilling to have their picture broadcast publicly across the globe.

Google, prior to uploading the photos, takes care in blurring peoples' faces and car license plate numbers, but privacy activists claim that some people are identifiable from their clothes, the way they walk, their height, their figure and the location they are photographed in.