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Google blurs faces of those caught on Street View

New technology tackles privacy concerns

In an attempt to quash privacy fears, Google has started blurring the faces of people displayed on its controversial Street View software.

Street View, which was launched last year, is an add-on to Google Maps and Google Earth that offers photographs of streets and cities in the US.

However, the software raised a number of privacy concerns regarding how identifiable people and houses were in the images. Among the complaints Google received were those regarding a man pictured exiting a San Francisco strip club and a woman sunbathing.

The search-engine is trialing face-detection technology, which will blur the faces of those caught on camera in Manhattan. If the technique proves successful, it will be rolled out to other areas.

Google software engineer, Andrea Frome said in a blog: "This effort has been a year in the making."

"Working at Street View-scale is a tough challenge that required us to advance state-of-the-art automatic face detection, and we continue working hard to improve it as we roll it out for our existing and future imagery."

See also:


Legal threat to Google Street View


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