Google has removed Pentagon images of US military bases from its online Internet Map service.
The Pentagon says the online images posted on Google’s online street level map service poses a security threat to US military bases.
“We have been contacted by the military,” Google spokesman Larry Yu said. “In those instances where they have expressed concerns about the imagery, we have accommodated their requests.”
The Defense Department, which is still studying how many images are available, has also banned Google teams from filming video images on bases.
“We’ve got to get a sense of what is there and see how we can mitigate it,” Gen. Gene Renuart, head of the military command responsible for homeland defense said.
However, because many images were taken from public streets, the military may not have a legal right to request that videos be pulled.
Street View, a feature of Google Maps, offers a ground level, 360-degree views of streets in 30 US cities. Web users can drive down a street, in a virtual sense, using their mouse to adjust views of roadside scenery.
The online Internet feature has become a popular service for drivers seeking to plan a trip to unfamiliar neighbourhoods. However, from the outset, Street View has been a magnet of controversy over a potential privacy invasion of people captured in the images.