Privacy concerns about Google Street View were aired Feb. 21 in a meeting with officials in Israel.
Google met with officials in Israel Feb. 21 to discuss the company's
plans to bring Google Street View to the country, and privacy
was on the agenda.
According to an official statement
an Israeli ministerial team headed by Minister Dan
Meridor met with Google to discuss "various aspects of Google
Street View, which is due to be operated in Israel soon."
"During the discussion, experts presented the implications regarding
privacy concerns and public security, as well as the advantages
regarding tourism and image," according to the statement. "The
ministerial team instructed the experts to work to protect vital public
interests regarding this innovative project. It was decided that
cooperation with Google would continue in order to operate the service
in Israel as soon as possible."
Since Google Street View launched in 2007, it has been at the center
of a number of controversies regarding privacy. Last year, Google
apologized to authorities in the U.K. after admitting its Street View
cars, which patrol city streets to snap images for Google Maps, had
swiped 600 gigabytes worth of e-mails, passwords and URLs from encrypted WiFi networks of unsuspecting users.
In Israel, some people have raised concerns that the feature could be abused by terrorists.
"We already have problems with Google Earth, which exposes all kinds of facilities," retired Lt. Col. Mordechai Kedar was quoted as telling the Associated Press
According to the Los Angeles Times
, Google may bring Street View to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
"Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps which is already
available in 27 countries," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK when asked
about the meeting with Israeli officials. "We aim to offer the benefits
of street-level imagery to users all around the world, however, we
have nothing specific to announce at this time."