Google blurs faces to protect privacy in Australian Street View

Google Maps gets a lot more personal.

Google Australia has gone the way of its UK counterparts and chosen to blur the faces of people caught on camera in the local version of its Street View service, launched today.

Street View is an enhancement to Google Maps, allowing users to navigate through a continuous panoramic street-level photograph of a location.

In the US, Street View offers near-complete coverage of the streets of a number of cities. It raised privacy concerns when it launched there last year, as people who never expected to be photographed found their movements displayed to a worldwide audience.

"Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all Australians to benefit from this feature," read statement issued by the company today "Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads. In Australia, Street View features technology that blurs identifiable faces." In addition, it said any user can easily flag for removal images they consider inappropriate by clicking on Street View Help.

"Google Maps has its origins as an Australian invention so we're thrilled to bring Street View here as one of the first countries in the world," said Andrew Foster, product manager for Google Australia. "A lot of remote and regional Australia is now available to explore virtually. Street View will allow people to visit places in Australia they may not have had a chance to experience before."

Only a handful of countries have Street View enabled. The US version went live to 50 state sin May 2007, the UK is soon to go live and the French edition, launched in early July, covered only a small -- but very special -- subset of French streets: the route of the famous Tour de France cycle race.

Peter Sayer contributed to this report.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Dahdah

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?