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Security concerns stops Google from using Street View in India

Snapshot: The application that enables panoramic view of streets has been repudiated by the Home Ministry citing security concerns.

Google knows no boundary when it comes to providing its users the real-life like experience. The technology giant is bringing the virtual world as close to the real life as possible and one of its prime example is the Google Navigation Services. The Google Navigation Service is the most used GPS based navigation services used in handheld mobiles as well as company fitted GPS devices.

The Google Navigation Services combine the Google Map, Google Earth and Google Street View to give a versatile navigation experience. Sadly, in India, we won't be able to use the Google Street View services as the Home Ministry of India has rejected it citing security reasons. It is believed that the Home Ministry has acted on reports from defense forces and security services that the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks were carried out using the help of Google navigation services.

As for the Google Street View, the application allows the user to have a 360-degree, panoramic experience of any street or area they are looking for. The application captures images of the area and stitches it to form a full panorama using a 360-degree camera mounted on a vehicle. Google also uses trekkers, boats, camels and other sources to capture the images too.

Google had originally planned to launch the services in Bangalore, the I.T capital of India back in 2011. But the Commissioner of Police suspended its operations for the security reasons. But Google continued its operations and partnered with the Archaeological Society of India. The duo gave the street view of iconic marvels like Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar and Ellora Caves. The work was uploaded online, giving the viewers a virtual tour of the heritage sites.

Google has also approached the ministry and the Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju has quoted that once the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 is in place, the issue will be resolved. There are also issues like privacy as Google Street View captures car plates and faces during the shoot. Google says that the view is not real time and after recording, they blur the faces and numbers under the blurring policy.

Countries like the United States, Canada and many European nations widely use the street view technology. Marked with the blue lines, the street view can really be a useful application for the users, but not on the risk of security. We hope that the government will be able to find a middle ground and let Google start the services.

You can know more about Google and it's other services here!

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