On June 10th, 2016, the Indian Home Ministry declined Google’s request to work on ‘Street View’ for their map’s services around the country. This decline of Google’s project stems from the need for safety of citizens, which Google’s ‘Street View’ may affect.
The Alphabet owned internet search company, Google wished to improve their map services within the country by allowing a user to be able to access a ‘Street View’ of the map too. While traditional maps show you 2D renditions of the nearby area’s topography, Google’s ‘Street View’ allows a user to look through each road and by-lane, as if they’d really visited the street. ‘Street View’ additionally allows you to explore the nearby areas along with roughly giving you a precise idea of your surroundings exactly as they were.
Google’s ‘Street View’ has been available in most developed countries for some time now, like the United Kingdom and the USA.
Reports suggest that privacy activists in the USA have also raised concerns about Google’s ‘Street View’ that allows any stranger to familiarize themselves with a new location just by visiting the Internet. Some snapshots of Google’s ‘Street View’ have also been reported to feature sunbathers.
Privacy turns out to be equally important in India. Like against the terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Hotel in 2008, where many innocents lost their lives. How the terrorists managed to do what they did, signifies the amount of meticulous planning and attention to detail on their part. India constantly faces terror threats from the neighboring countries. Imagine what would happen if such terrorists were to have unfettered access to such detailed information on crowded public places.
According to the Hindustan Times, the Indian Government wants Google to hold off on their Street View project for another two years or so. The Government will have passed the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill by that time, allowing the authorities to regulate the kind of information that is published on such public domains.