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Google Street View – Twitterers what are YOU doing?

Google Street View launched in the UK yesterday to much interest. It took barely five minutes for concerns about privacy to be aired, though, and the search engine company has already bowed to pressure from some users and started removing photos.

When Google Street View was announced, we were promised vehicle number plates would be obscured and people caught in shot would not be identifiable.

Certainly, playing the game and searching for my own car last night wasn't as easy as it sounded - Google had not so much obscured it as chopped it in pieces and squished it into some very strange contortions.

Perhaps more concerningly, a number of journalists and celebrities we've been following on Twitter were over-hasty in posting their gleeful tweets about how they'd spotted their homes, cars and themselves on Street View.

Unfortunately, they also posted links to the exact bit of Google Maps in question and, in the case of one high profile comedian, seemingly a screengrab of himself on Street View along with the address and house number where he lives.

Wonderful times for stalkers, we're sure, but perhaps also a potential phishing risk? After all, if you tweet all over the web to hundreds or thousands of unfiltered followers and offer them a gander at your swish new apartment and the fancy car parked outside, it's not that much of a stretch for someone so-minded to log your address and name, have a quick look online for your age - easy as pie if you're also an incautious Facebook friend - and start making a play for your identity.

Don't believe there's enough info out there for that? Our recent feature on the joys and pitfalls of people search may have you rethinking (rather than retweeting).

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