I knew it was going to happen, you knew it was going to happen, everyone knew that Street View would cause a privacy stink when it eventually launched in the UK. Everyone except Google it would appear. Although it is not saying how many images have been removed from the newly launched service following privacy complaints, you can be sure the number will grow and grow as the service spreads beyond the current 25 big cities which have been photographed and published already.
There are reports of images being removed that show a man being arrested in North London, and another of a chap going into a Soho sex shop and one throwing up on the pavement in Shoreditch High Street, also in the capital city. This despite the faces being blurred using Google's face blurring privacy algorithms.
The Independent newspaper has reported how it could identify both faces and vehicle registration numbers even though such detail was meant to be made unidentifiable in order to protect citizen privacy. The Information Commissioner's Office which deals with such matters in the UK has vowed to investigate any complaints but has also made it clear that it is "satisfied" that "Google is putting in place adequate safeguards" in order to minimise the invasion of privacy risk.
There has been an interesting twist on an old Google Street View privacy story though, that of Mr and Mrs Boring who unsuccessfully attempted to sue the search giant after it included images of their home without permission. They did manage to get Google to admit that complete privacy does not exist although that does not appear to be the case if you are the UK Google boss of course. It seems that the home of Dennis Woodside is not included in the Street View images. A Google spokesperson reckons his house was simply "on a private road" which is why it was not photographed.
I feel sure the conspiracy theorists will be out in force to disagree with that.