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Google Street View comes to Israel

Security officials insist only public areas snapped

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Google has launched its Street View product in Israel, after what the Jerusalem Post describes as “meetings with Israeli security officials” that ensured “Street View only shows public areas.”

Google itself is focussing on the virtual tourism potential of the service's Israeli incarnation, announcing it in a post titled Exploring Jerusalme's Old City streets with Street View and talking up what the images could do for people with disabilities.

Another Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reports that the service appeared two days before a formal launch and that Google's face blurring technology has once again misfired. Real people, the paper reports, occasionally go unobscured while faces on posters have been blurred.

Street View Israel only covers three cities: Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The latter city appears to have been covered comprehensively, without regard for historical borders.

Associated Press reports that local officials are unconcerned by the launch, saying that those who may seek to attack Israel already know the three cities well and won't get useful assistance from Street View. ®

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