New Delhi, June 10: India declined to give security clearance to Google's Street View. The Defence Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau objected to the proposal by Google which had planned on giving a 360 degree image of a place.
It is very hard to regulate it said a Home Ministry official to OneIndia while also adding that the Defence Ministry too had raised concerns about this project.
During the two major attacks in recent times, the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks, the terrorists had relied extensively on Google Maps to understand the topography. The maps had helped the terrorists find precise locations, the official added.
India not ready for Google Street view:
While terrorist attacks is one concern, the other relates to privacy. Although Google had told the government of India that the purpose of Street View was to aid in disaster management and tourism, officials felt that there was a bigger chance of misuse.
The Defence Ministry had felt that terrorists and spies could use the Street View for better imageries of sensitive installations. Monitoring it would be extremely difficult both the IB and the Defence Ministry had pointed out. Moreover the investigations into the Pathankot attack had found that terrorists had extensively used Google Maps to locate the air base and also move around before reaching it.
The other concern that was raised was regarding privacy. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and Poland too had raised similar concerns in the past. India too felt that there are no data protection measures and hence the same cannot be allowed.
The issue had been debated since April 2015 when Google made its first presentation to the Ministry of Home Affairs. It had been red flagged immediately by the IB. Although Google did inform that it could be helpful for tourism purposes, the IB pointed out that even tourist spots are hot on the radar of terrorist organisations.