Google on Friday announced that it had removed several images from its new UK Street View application, which allows web surfers to take virtual tours of parts of 25 British cities. Google was forced to pull those images after users raised privacy concerns within 24 hrs of it’s release.
Google said it had removed several pictures, including ones that users found embarrassing, such as one of a man leaving a sex shop in central London’s Soho neighborhood, or another one of a man vomiting outside a pub in the east of the London.
Offending photos have been replaced by a black image with the message “This image is no longer available”. Google also said that users who do not want either their image or that of their home to be used in Street View can request it to be taken off Google’s database by filling out an online form.
Google Street View, which displays 360-degree ground-level images captured by customized cars using digital photography equipment, was first launched in the United States in May 2007. Now, it is available in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy, Britain and Netherlands.