Google takes the people out of Street View
Friday, May 16, 2008/
Google has moved to address concerns about the privacy of individuals captured on its Street View service by implementing new face blurring software, Search Engine Journal reports.
As the name suggests, Street View is a feature of Google Maps that captures street level pictures of houses, cars and people on city streets. From the beginning Google said it would blur house addresses for privacy reasons, but for the first few weeks of operation people snapped by Street Views patrolling picture takers were identifiable.
To address the obvious privacy issue with people having their pictures taken and then splashed on the web for the world to see, Google has now implemented face blurring software to make people snapped for Street View unidentifiable.
It wasn’t a small thing to develop software to do the job – given the scale of Street View, the process of identifying human faces in the images taken had to be entirely automated. According to Google, the software they have created employs state-of-the-art automatic face detection technology that was a year in the making.
Source: Google Earth and Maps team blog