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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google starts to blur faces in Street View photos

After privacy complaints, Google Inc. is beginning to automatically blur faces of people captured in the street photos taken for its Internet map program.

As specially equipped Google vehicles cruised city streets snapping panoramic images of homes and businesses, the resulting photos revealed people falling off bikes, exiting strip joints, crossing the street, sunbathing — everyday, in-public things but nonetheless, things they might not have wanted preserved for posterity.

This week, Google revealed it had indeed begun deploying a facial-recognition algorithm that scans photos for mugs to blur. The changes are happening first in scenes in New York, before slowly expanding to the other 40 cities in Street View.

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