India not to allow Google's Street View

google-street-view-reuters Street View imagery will give a panoramic view of any location with 360 degree images of the place | Reuters
  • The MHA move came after security agencies warned that the data could be misused by terrorists and other anti-national elements.

India has decided not to allow Internet giant Google to use its Street View imagery technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth in the country after security agencies raised a red flag.

The move comes close on the heels of the Union Home Ministry drafting the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 which seeks to regulate the acquisition and dissemination of geospatial information in the country.

Top sources revealed that the government was initially inclined to allow Google's Street View imagery, which would give a panoramic view of any location with 360 degree images of the place. However, security agencies expressed concern over the move and warned that such data, unmonitored by Indian authorities, could be misused by terrorists and other anti-national elements besides throwing up privacy concerns and data protection issues.

After taking views of all stakeholders, the MHA has decided against allowing Google's street view application in the country. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the proposed geospatial law would address the concerns following which the issue could be re-examined.

However, the legislation is expected to take time with sources indicating that the draft bill is still awaiting wide discussions of all stakeholders in the government based on the public feedback before it takes a final shape.

It may be recalled that in 2011, Google had launched Street View as a pilot project in some of the Indian tourist sites like Qutub Minar, Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and Nalanda university in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism .

It was expected that the proposal would come through following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Google headquarters in California in September 2015.

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Topics : #Google

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