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Google forced to black out thousands of Street View photos

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Google forced to black out thousands of Street View photos after privacy protests Thousands of pictures from Google's new Street View service have been removed after concerns were voiced about invasion of privacy. Areas of cities across Britain have been 'blacked out' after a string of complaints from people captured by the U.S. firm's cameras. Images of several homes were removed along with a one picture showing a man emerging from a sex shop in Soho, central London. Street View allows users to zoom in on homes and properties across the country, sometimes even through windows. Blacked out: This image of a man emerging from a sex shop in Soho has been removed An image of a man vomiting outside a pub in Shoreditch, east London, was also blacked out by the firm. The screen now just says: 'This image is no longer available.' But a picture of a man being arrested in Camden, north London is still available. 'We cannot give out numbers for the complaints we have received, but we are dealing with them and blacking out the images within hours,' said a Google spokeswoman. 'We know the service is not perfect, but we are relying on users to tell us where there are problems. We are happy to remove any images people are not happy with.' The service, launched 24 hours ago, has already been hugely popular, with Google saying 'hundreds of thousands' of people had viewed London's streets. At yesterday's launch the company pledged to blur all faces and numberplates using special software. A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's Office today said it will investigate any complaints. 'The ICO is satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to minimise any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals,' he said. 'Individuals who have raised concerns with Google and who do not think they have received a satisfactory response can raise that concern with the ICO.' Google unveiled the controversial Street View yesterday. The images are not 'live' but were taken by a fleet of Google cars last summer as they drove along more than 2,000 miles of public roads. Google says its software automatically blurs '99.9 per cent' of faces and car number plates. Within hours of it going live the service, available through the Google Maps website, had attracted millions of hits. But despite Google's pledge to protect privacy, not all faces and number plates were blurred, and some people were easily recognisable. This image of a man being sick outside a poll hall in east London has been removed Street View was launched in America two years ago and has since been expanded to cities in France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The British version features tens of millions of photos of 25 cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester, Oxford and Leeds. More towns and cities will be added over the next few years, and the photos are expected to be updated every two or three years. Google believes Street View will be popular with shoppers trying to find stores, drinkers looking for pubs, and house buyers wanting to find out more about neighbourhoods. The service is free and available on personal computers and to those with a mobile phone, iPhone or BlackBerry. Google's Ed Parsons said the company would black out any photos if homeowners objected to their properties being on display using an online application form. Street View London: people getting fined for not paying their fares on the bendy bus removed this morning 'Privacy is really important to us,' he said. 'We recognise that there have been concerns about that and we think we have addressed those concerns.' He added: 'The images you see on Street View are the same images you would see if you were to walk or drive down the road yourself.' The pictures are detailed enough to please even the most critical curtain twitcher. They reveal the scrawls of graffiti vandals and whether lawns are manicured or streets littered. In America, one image - which has since been removed - showed a woman exposing her underwear as she got out of a car. Others showed a man apparently entering a sex shop and two women sunbathing on a lawn of a university campus. Britain's data watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office was so concerned about Street View that it wrote to Google last year asking for privacy guarantees. Yesterday it said: 'We are satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals-Further, there is an easy mechanism by which individuals can report an image that causes them concern to Google and request that it is removed.' But the campaign group Privacy International says the website could be an invasion of privacy. A spokesman said: 'These images are being captured without people's permission for commercial use, and we believe that is not legally acceptable. 'They are also putting into place a system for updating these images in the future, and for storing the images digitally where they could be misused.' The British cities on Street View are Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, Swansea and York.n6p0yd.jpg2n7niie.jpgmm3np.jpg

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if anypne was smart and saw themselves on google streetmap or wotever, u shud sue... and get major gwap >>no hype

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irrelevantits a form of cameram, without ur knowledge taking images of u without due care or wotever...

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if anypne was smart and saw themselves on google streetmap or wotever, u shud sue... and get major gwap >>no hype
lol @ mere mortals suing googleget found in a vcant fam

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if anypne was smart and saw themselves on google streetmap or wotever, u shud sue... and get major gwap >>no hype
lol @ mere mortals suing googleget found in a vcant fam
:lol:

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