A lot of people have problems with Google Street View. The UK, Greece and Japan have all expressed discontent when it comes to the service, particularly when it comes to an individual's privacy. This past weekend, Google came under fire for accidentally publishing images of the SAS base on the Internet. The secret base of the Special Air Service has never before appeared on maps for security reasons. Late on Friday, Google said it had no plans to remove the images as the photos were taken from a public road.
"One in five people already use Google Street View for house hunting and the scheme has previously launched in 20 countries without any breach of security issues," the Telegraph cites a Google Spokesperson as saying. "Google only takes images from public roads and this is no different to what anyone could see travelling down the road themselves, therefore there is no appreciable security risk. We're happy to discuss any concerns as they arise."
However, with military sources talking about terrorists using the maps to plot an attack, it seems Google has changed its tune. The images have been removed but apparently, this isn't the first time Google has photographed protected buildings.
The Telegraph reports that Google has snapped pictures sensitive buildings around the UK, including Special Boat Service and Special Air Service bases, a Government atomic weapons research centre, security services’ eavesdropping centers and MI5 headquarters. According to the Telegraph, in a photo taken outside the SBS headquarters, warning can clearly be seen stating, “Prohibited place within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act. Loitering, photography, sketching forbidden.” The warning is highlighted in red.
A Google spokesperson is quoted as saying, "Our drivers are trained not to take photographs where this is prohibited by law, but if mistakes are made we will act quickly to remove the images."