This is a portion of the text of an email sent by a Google representative in response to On the Money's request for an interview for its May 31 report on privacy concerns over "Street View."
Thanks for your note. Unfortunately we're not going to be able to come on the show (Google is hosting a big event in San Jose today) but below are some comments on what Google Maps Street View is and how we're protecting user privacy with this feature.
Street View is a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate within 360 degree street level imagery of various cities in the US. Street View provides users with a rich, immersive browsing experience directly in Google Maps, enabling greater understanding of a specific location or area.
At Google we take privacy very seriously. Street View only features imagery taken on public property. This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street. Imagery of this kind is available in a wide variety of formats for cities all around the world. While the Street View feature enables people to easily find, discover, and plan activities relevant to a location, we respect the fact that people may not want imagery they feel is objectionable featured on the service. We provide easily accessible tools for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for review and removal.
Each Street View imagery bubble contains a link to "Street View Help" where users can report objectionable images. Objectionable imagery includes nudity, certain types of locations (for example, domestic violence shelters) and clearly identifiable individuals, if those individuals request takedown. We routinely review takedown requests and act quickly to remove objectionable imagery.
Prior to launch we worked with several public service organizations (including the National Network to End Domestic Violence) to address any concerns about privacy issues ...
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.