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Google Street View Criticised Because Of SAS Photos

Google has been lambasted for allowing its Street View service to publish pictures of the secretive SAS (Special Air Service) headquarters in Credenhill in Herefordshire which had never been photographed officially before.

Security experts say that terrorists could potentially use the pictures to plan for attacks on the base especially as Street View shows a full 180-degree panoramic view of the HQ's boundary and has been taken within the last six months.

The search giant has promised that Street View will not show licence plates and faces. An MoD spokesperson told the Sun that they never confirm where their special forces are based.

Laura Scott from Google has confirmed that Google only takes pictures from public roads and that the base was not hidden away from public view. She also confirmed that the images would not be taken off the site.

Google said previously that "One in five people already use Google Street View for house hunting and the scheme has previously launched in 20 countries without any breach of security issues".

Ironically, anyone can ask Google to remove pictures if it violates their personal privacy. Furthermore, it did remove some pictures of 10, Downing Street, the home address of the British Prime minister that it considered to be too sensitive.

Our Comments

To be fair to Google, whoever wanted to take those pictures could have and there are no restrictions to actually go there and take some pictures while driving around. It must possibly take a very, very lazy terrorist indeed to prepare plans based on six-month old pictures.

Related Links

Google Street View criticised for 'showing images of secret SAS headquarters' (opens in new tab)

(Telegraph)

Fury as Google Blows Gaff (opens in new tab)

(The Sun)

Google Earth’s Street View: SAS headquarters images row (opens in new tab)

(Product-Reviews)

Google Street View under fire for showing images of secret SAS HQs (opens in new tab)

(Topnews)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.