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Indian government says no to Google Map street view, again

30 March 2018

Google Street View allows its users to explore the world in a 360-degree panoramic street imagery of public areas as well.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said Google had submitted a proposal on the Google Street View for the government's permission in July 2015. And their latest idea was to provide a street view to explore cities, tourist spots, hills and river through a 360-degree panoramic imagery.

In a written statement, Ahir said, "The government has not agreed to the proposal". But in India, the application was initially permitted in a handful of locations.

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Google Street View, which has been trying to enter Indian market for a long time was denied permission by the Indian government for the second time.

This isn't the first time Google has face severe opposition from the government over street view.

Google revealed the new language upgrade on Tuesday, which includes native support for languages which are less commonly spoken worldwide in comparison to English, Spanish, and French, among others. Local authorities put a stop to activities citing security reasons. Google had then launched the Street View for some major showplaces like Varanasi river bank, Mysore Palace, Nalanda University, Chinnaswamy stadium, Thanjavur temple along with the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and Red Fort.

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Could Street View be a tool for terrorist reconnaissance?

A more recent attack on the Pathankot airbase past year was also plotted out after similar photographic recce. Google had schemed to cover most parts of India through Street View so users from anywhere would be able to explore natural wonders, landmarks, monuments, parks, and museums while seated on their couch.

The fact that Google's online maps shows many of India's defence installations, nuclear power plants and other "sensitive" installations have been a cause for concern among the country's security community.

However, in 2013, geospatial solutions company Genesys International Corporation Ltd tied up with ministry of tourism to provide digital walkthroughs in 54 Indian cities.

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More on an individual level, but Google Street View can be potentially used to stalk a person and learn all about where they live and details of areas surrounding them. It has operations in the U.S., the UK, Europe and the UAE.