Japan govt to ask Google to inform when it takes street footages

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:12

Tokyo: The Japanese government plans to
request Google to alert the residents about when and where it
will take a close-up and 360-degree colour footage of the
street`s under its `Street View service` as to make sure
people`s privacy is not intruded, officials said.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry
on Tuesday made this decision after an advisory panel asked it
to demand from California-based Internet firm `Mountain View`
to inform both municipal governments and residents beforehand
of the time and place when it plans to shoot street film.

The service provides close-up views of city streets as
caught by Google`s Street View cameras installed in vehicles
driving along the roads.

In June, the panel determined that the service could be
deemed consistent with Japan`s personal information protection
law, if the firm takes appropriate steps including blurring
identifiable images, such as faces.

But in the latest report, the panel said, "It cannot be
said that people would accept the service immediately even if
problems concerning its legality may have been cleared up."

"Therefore, it is indispensable that Google takes
measures to allay ordinary citizens` concerns and anxieties
about the service," it added.

Dozens of municipal assemblies have also adopted
resolutions asking the government to place curbs on the
service, on the grounds it may breach the privacy of

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:12

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