Google Street View, which has been trying to enter Indian market for a long time was denied permission by the Indian government for the second time. Minister of state for home affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed the Lok Sabha that the government has not agreed to the company’s proposal.
Google had submitted a proposal on Street View for the government’s permission in July 2015, which allows users to explore places around the world through 360-degree panoramic street-level imagery and view public areas.
Internet giant Google launched its Street View service in Bengaluru in 2011 to collect street-level imagery but was soon asked by local authorities to stop the service citing security reasons.
Google had on an experimental basis launched street view for some tourist sites such as the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Varanasi river bank, Nalanda University, Mysore Palace, Thanjavur temple and Chinnaswamy stadium, in partnership with the Archaeological Society of India.
As per Google’s plans, using the app one could explore Indian cities, tourist spots, hills and rivers through street-level imagery.
Google Street View is present in more than 82 countries, including the US, Canada, and many European countries, its application in India was initially permitted for a few locations.
Introduced in 2007 in the US, Street View uses bikes and cars fitted with cameras to collect 360-degree images which the user is then able to see in a panoramic view with street-level 3D imagery.
In 2016, the government had rejected Google’s Street View implementation plan in the country. Official sources said the rejection came after a detailed analysis by security agencies and defence forces which feel that allowing Google to cover India would compromise country’s security interest.
At that time, Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said once the proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill (GIRB), 2016 comes into force, issues related to the Internet-based application would be resolved.
The latest denial by the government seems to be in compliance with national security. Like 2008 Mumbai attacks, Pathankot case has also raised concerns over security breach which may provide loopholes via such service by Google and others.
The 2016 drafted bill is still under observation and is being delayed because of controversial inputs and flaws.
The development was reported by Financial Express.