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Google CEO says move if you don't like Street View

Was Eric Schmidt joking during CNN interview?

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, believes web users that are unhappy that images of their home are available on its Street View service should simply move house.

According to the Wall Street Journal, during an interview with CNN, where host Kathleen Parker questioned Schmidt about privacy conerns over the Street View service, the Google CEO said: "Street View, we drive exactly once".

"So, you can just move, right?", he said, followed by laughter, which made it unclear whether he was joking or not.

"The important point is we only do it once. This is not a monitoring situation. We're very careful to not have real-time information about where people are."

CNN later pulled the comments from repeats of the broadcast, although Inside Google, an uncut video of the interview was posted on the web.

Google said the CEO was highlighting the fact the "Street View service provides only a static picture in time, and doesn't provide real-time imagery or provide any information about where people are".

"Of course, we also allow users to request that their home be removed from Street View."

Google Street View is an add-on to Google Maps and Google Earth, which provides real-time photographs of cities across the world. These are captured using modified cars.

Schmidt's comments came as Google admitted the data its Street View Cars had accidentally collected from Wi-Fi networks included entire email messages, website addresses and passwords.

See also: ICO opens second Google investigation

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