Google Street View has been dismissed by the Indian Government due to security concerns.
Getting a panoramic view of Indian streets on Google Maps looks like at a halt, with the Union Home Ministry rejecting the Google’s appeal to launch the service in India. Google Street View collects high definition images to give its users 360-degree views of streets, tourist spots, hills, and rivers.
The Indian government believes Street View could compromise the country’ security interest, PTI reported. The planning of 2008 Mumbai attacks is believed to have involved photographic surveillance of targeted areas by a key planner Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley.
Despite the fact that Google blurs faces, license plates, and other sensitive information, India’s security agencies and defence department reportedly objected.
“The main concern was the security of sensitive defence installations. The Defence Ministry said it was not possible to monitor the service once it was launched and it would be detrimental to national security,”
a senior government official told The Hindu.
The Indian government said it will consider Google’s request for Street View after its Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, is cleared by the parliament under which the wrong depiction of India’s map could land the violators in jail with a maximum term of seven years and fine up to Rs 100 crore.
“All such issues will be sorted out after the bill comes into being,” Kiren Rijiju, minister of state for home affairs stated.
This also comes in the wake of the attack on the Pathankot military airbase where investigators believe the attackers were familiar with the layout of the airbase from Google Maps.
The service has faced the similar backlash in Europe, including in the UK, Czech Republic, and Germany, where privacy-minded citizens demanded photos of their homes be blurred as well.
Last year, Google Street View partnered with environmental monitoring company Aclima, which allowed cars to carry sensors to detect pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter. In October 2015, Google announced its support for Cardboard, enabling users to explore street view in 360-degree virtual reality.
Google Street View was launched in May 2007, covering San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, New York and Miami, allowing users to navigate virtual streets from photographs gathered from directional cameras on special vehicles.