Google's Proposal For Street View In India Rejected By Government

Friday, 30 Mar, 2018

Initially Google did have permission to capture a few locations.

A proposal to roll out Google Street View, an application through which one can explore cities, tourist spots, hills and rivers using 360-degree panoramic and street-level imagery, has been rejected by the government, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. However, the rejection of Google's Street View application by the government is bound to be a bump in the road ahead for Google.

The government of India has refused Google's proposal to launch street view in Google Maps. The search giant wanted to cover most parts of India through Street View, as per a PTI report.

While being immensely used in Northern America and Europe, Google has only been allowed to test its Street View capabilities on a limited basis in India, unlike its neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Sri Lana where the service has been set up for quite some time now.

Google on 28 March launched a voice synthesiser called "Cloud Text-to-Speech" which is powered by its Britain-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) subsidiary DeepMind.

Firstly go to settings. Pic FB
Firstly go to settings. Pic FB

As technology has become an increasingly important tool for urban navigation, city streets and public transport networks have become easier to traverse.

The fact that Google's online maps shows many of India's defence installations, nuclear power plants and other "sensitive" installations have been a cause for concern among the country's security community.

Google Street View is present in more than 82 countries around the world, which have benefited from it in terms of tourism and other aspects. Google had then launched the Street View for some major showplaces like Varanasi river bank, Mysore Palace, Nalanda University, Chinnaswamy stadium, Thanjavur temple along with the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and Red Fort. A more recent attack on the Pathankot airbase past year was also plotted out after similar photographic recce.

However, authorities in charge of national security fear that such a feature which allows access to Indian topography in 360 panoramic and high-resolution imagery can compromise its security. Images have to be taken down if an individual who figures in any photograph objects. To do that, they encouraged users through their platform Local Guides to answer five questions about places that they visited to place them on city Maps. It has operations in the USA, the UK, Europe and the UAE.

This may be why Facebook has recently started prompting users with this permission request for call and text history on newer versions of Messenger.