Israel Mulls Google Street View

February 24th, 2011 by Trudy Henson

If you’ve ever ‘Google Street-Viewed’ your home and felt weird that people could see the car in your driveway, you’re not alone.

Monday, Israel announced despite reservations it would work with Google Inc. to find a way to safely implement the service Google Street View. Israeli officials are reluctant to allow the service to photograph Israeli cities, because they worry Street View could be used by terrorists to plot attacks on sensitive targets. Israeli caution is justified, considering Palestinian militants have already used satellite image-based Google Earth to identify rocket targets.

Google Street View is already available in 27 countries, including the United States. Though the service has caused considerable debate about individual privacy concerns in the U.S., discussions on the homeland security front have been quiet. Any unified policy DHS or the DoD may have about the service has been unpublicized, and it’s unclear if the officials worked with Google to set parameters like Israeli officials. That doesn’t mean the U.S. government was unconcerned: early in Street View’s U.S. introduction, the Baltimore-Washington Metro area service release was delayed by DHS request, and Google was banned from photographing military bases.

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The CHHS headquarters in Baltimore, as seen on Google Street View.

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