by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2007
Miami, FL (LifeNews.com) — Internet search engine leader Google has come under fire over the last week for a new service on its Google Maps and Earth that takes street-level pictures of people and places. Saying the pictures will help its users find various locations and see what they look like, others are worried about privacy concerns.
Google’s "Street View" features pictures of parts of San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami, and Silicon Valley in northern California.
"With Street View users can virtually walk the streets of a city, check out a restaurant before arriving, and even zoom in on bus stops and street signs to make travel plans," Google said on its website.
But the feature has created an uproar from people concerned about where they might appear online and Miami abortion facility director Elaine Diamond is one person who is worried.
She is troubled by a Google Maps picture showing protesters outside the abortion facility and worries that future pictures might include other abortion business and photos of women entering them for abortions.
"I wish they would replace it," Diamond said, according to media reports. "I couldn’t contact them. I tried quickly. It’s not easy."
She worries that the Google feature will result in intimidation of women or abortion facility employees by pro-life advocates.
Google told the media that it worked with shelters for battered women and children to avoid pictures endangering its visitors but did not mention whether it would avoid pictures of women or staff outside abortion centers.
"Street View only features imagery taken on public property," Google said in a statement. "This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street."
Google used vans employing cameras able to take a 360 picture and taking photos of people in public places is legal.