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Google Street View violates privacy according to Japanese group

Reuters is reporting a Japanese civilian group that includes lawyers and university professors has asked Google to stop providing detailed street-level images of Japanese cities on the internet because it violates privacy rights.

The service the group is objecting to is called Google Street View and is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic street-level views and allows users to view parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas at ground level. Currently 12 Japanese cities are covered by this service.

The group calls itself the The Kanshi Shakai o Kyohisuru Kai (The Campaign Against Surveillance Society), and is headed by Yasuhiko Tajima a professor of constitutional law at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Tajima expressed his concerns in a telephone interview with Reuters stating, "We strongly suspect that what Google has been doing deeply violates a basic right that humans have." He also said, "It is necessary to warn society that an IT giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service."

The Campaign Against Surveillance Society wants Google to stop providing its Street View service of Japanese cities and delete all saved images. Google’s Tokyo office has not yet commented on the request.

Privacy concerns about Google Street View have grown in the Japanese media, especially after some people discovered their images on Street View. Google has responded to privacy concerns in the past when it complied with a Pentagon request to remove online images from Street View over fears they posed a security threat to U.S. military bases.



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blur
By strikeback03 on 12/22/2008 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't they automatically blur people's faces, car license plates, and other personal information in the images anyway?

I find street view very useful for checking out an area before going there, you can learn about the layout more than an overhead map or image can show.




RE: blur
By Quiescent on 12/22/2008 6:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Before, I relied on Bird's eye view in live maps. But it still wasn't enough. With street view, I'm able to see where I'm suppose to be at and decrease the likelihood that I'll pass by the place from 90% likely before the bird's eye view came to be, 70% likely when it came to be. and 5% likely when street view came to be.


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