UK Google boss escapes cameras

THE £2m home of the UK head of Google, the internet search engine, is not visible in the company’s new Street View service.

The web function allows users to view photographs of thousands of UK streets and houses, with the option to swivel 360 degrees and zoom in on homes.

The Google boss Dennis Woodside’s West London town house is not one of them. His residence is situated in a private gated development in Kensington, where the 40-year-old American lives with his wife and two children.

Google’s staff spent months photographing millions of high-resolution images in 25 UK cities using a fleet of car-mounted cameras.

Last night a Google spokeswoman, Laura Scott, said Woodside’s house had not been omitted on purpose but was not included because it was on a private road, and no private roads were included.

The company has said it will remove or blur images of homes if people feel their security or privacy has been breached. Home owners can fill in a form on the website.

The launch of the service sparked controversy because of some of the images included. Shots of a man emerging from a Soho sex shop are among those removed after complaints.

Images of naked toddlers enjoying a family picnic in a quiet London square were also removed after they were discovered by a newspaper.

Richard Thomas, the information commissioner is considering an investigation into the new service if similar images are found. Google is facing threats of legal action in Germany as its image mapping threatens privacy laws.

Google uses face-recognition technology automatically to blur most faces and number plates captured by its cameras.

Some close-up shots of Downing Street and the House of Commons have also been removed, though last night images of policemen guarding the London home of the former prime minister, Tony Blair, were still on the site.


Related Post  Google Street View: Privacy campaigners promise legal challenge


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