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Google CEO backtracks after Street View gaffe

Eric Schmidt "clearly misspoke" during CNN interview

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has backtracked on his comments that web users unhappy that images of their home are available on its Street View service should simply move house.

During an interview with CNN, Kathleen Parker questioned Schmidt about Street View privacy concerns. 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.

Despite the comments being cut from the final broadcast, a video clip of Schmidt's gaffe was leaked online. The frenzy on the web surrounding the comments has lead Schmidt to clarify he "clearly misspoke" during the interview.

"As you can see from the unedited interview, my comments were made during a fairly long back and forth on privacy. I clearly misspoke," Schmidt said.

"If you are worried about Street View and want your house removed please contact Google and we will remove it."

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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