Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Google is set to launch its Street View service in Israel on April 22, unveiling the street-based photography collection which will include images from a number of major cities and the country’s famous Dead Sea.
According to a report from Globes, the launch event is scheduled to take place this coming Sunday, with a number of government officials set to join in the unveiling. The event will mark the launch of the service eight months after authorities gave the search giant the green light to proceed with capturing the country on camera.
Street View Israel will include images of the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and other locations in the country, including the Dead Sea, Kinneret (Israeli’s largest fresh water lake), and historic cities Nazareth and Mitzpe Ramon.
The service has caused considerable issues in a number of places worldwide and, consequently, negotiations with Israeli authorities took three months to conclude. Street View was almost closed in Switzerland, was sued in Oregon and left Google paying €100,000 in France and €150,000 in Belgium for privacy settlements.
As Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, authorities wanted guarantees that Google had an efficient and reliable way for residents to blur out personal information, including license plates and homes, before they are published online.
Equally, Google was required to promise to manage any litigation resulting from the service in Israel rather than the US. To that point, Google “promised not to dispute criminal claims that might be raised against Street View by arguing that the Law, Information and Technology Authority lacks standing to prosecute criminal claims against the company in Israel.”
As the recent launch of Street View in Thailand demonstrated, where the national tourism authority jointly participated in the launch, governments are beginning to open up to the potential of the service. While equally, Google is offering a degree of flexibility to governments and people that happened to photographed on the service, as it looks to bring Street View to the world.
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