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Google has been denied permission to launch Street View app in India

NEW DELHI:Those who were looking forward to get a panoramic street view on their Google app are in for a disappointment. The Union home ministry has denied the Internet giant the permission to launch the Street View service in India. The increasing bonhomie between India and the US had raised hope of many, who expected Google to get permission for the popular app.

Top government sources said that after considering Google’s proposal at length for nearly a year, both Union home ministry and defence ministry decided unequivocally that permission for the street view service cannot be granted, as it could have serious security implications.

“The street view can be used by terrorists to set coordinates for launching terror attacks with precision. We cannot afford to have such a service. The geospatial bill, which is under process, will elaborately dwell on this issue,” said the source.

The Union home ministry officials also spoke to some India-based app providers before taking the decision, and they also raised similar red flags, sources said.

Google representatives had given a detailed presentation of their Street View app to the Union home ministry in April 2015 and explained how the platform could be extremely useful in promoting tourism and in times of disasters.

Later in July 2015, they submitted a formal proposal to shoot images through high-end cameras mounted on cars, bikes and on foot. Earlier, a pilot project was undertaken by Google in collaboration with the tourism ministry, wherein it shot 360-degree panoramic view of famous tourist sites such as Qutub Minar, Thanjavur temple, Varanasi river bank, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Nalanda University, Mysore Palace and Chinnaswamy Stadium. They can still be seen on Google Street View app.

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