Daily Israel Report

Did Google Catch You on 'Candid Camera' Street View?

If Google’s roof-topped “candid camera” caught you on film the past six months, you might be seen at Sunday’s launch of "Street View.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/17/2012, 1:31 PM

If Google’s roof-topped “candid camera” caught you on film the past six months, you might be seen at Sunday’s public launch of “Street View” in Tel Aviv.

The Internet giant deployed its vehicles last September on the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Mitzpeh Ramon in the central Negev and even the Kinneret and the Dead Sea.

Photos of the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and other locations in Israel including the Dead Sea, Kinneret, Nazareth and Mitzpeh Ramon will be seen. In the past few months, Google’s pedal tricycle with a fourth generation camera mounted was seen in the narrow streets of the area of Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda public market.

A YouTube video shows the tricycle at work elsewhere.

The mayors of Haifa and Tel Aviv will join Google executives at the official launch of Street View, which is controversial throughout the world because of questions of invasion of privacy.

Israel officials authorized the Street View cameras after three months of negotiations to define certain conditions to protect privacy.

Google has paid tens of thousands of dollars in France and Belgium as settlements for lawsuits concerning privacy, and Switzerland nearly closed down the operation.

In Israel, Google promised that its camera would not reveal license plate numbers and home addresses before publishing the images online.

The company also promised that it would answer any ensuing lawsuits in Israeli courts without demanding that the litigation take place in its homes base of the United States.