Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Google Street View faces challenges in India

John Ribeiro, IDG News Services | May 26, 2011
Google started collecting data for its Street View project in Bangalore on Thursday, but is being very careful not to run into controversies about privacy or government concerns about security, a company executive said.

Blurring the face may not be sufficient in such a situation, if it is still possible to identify the person, he added.

Google will be extremely responsive to any request received from a user for the additional blurring of any images that feature them, the company said in a statement. Street View is designed to comply with all local laws including those related to security and privacy in India, it added.

New rules in India for intermediaries also require that Internet companies pull down content that is found to be objectionable within 36 hours, after the intermediary is notified by the affected party or the government, or becomes aware of the content on its own, Duggal said.

If there is some concern from the government or individuals about certain images, Google will work with them to remove the images, Goel said.

Google has previously criticized the new rules, and said that "if Internet platforms are held liable for third-party content, it would lead to self-censorship and reduce the free flow of information".

These probable legal issues come on top of challenges that Google already faced in building an online map application in India about three to four years ago.

Unlike in developing countries, where the company may have licensed third-party cartographic data, there wasn't any credible source for good and up-to-date maps in India, Goel said. Printed maps in India become out-dated six months before they are printed as everything is changing very fast on the ground. So the company decided to use its Map Maker program to get users to add information into the maps, he added.

In India, unlike in the U.S., driving directions are usually based on key landmarks like a church, temple, a movie theater, or a popular restaurant, Goel said.

Google plans to roll out Street View across the country, though it did not specify a time-frame.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.