You might have escaped the watchful gaze of traffic wardens, but your illegal parking at a corner or on a zebra crossing could have been caught on Google’s camera.
As people swarmed to Google Street View, after it was launched in Malta this week, some were quick to note that the island’s notoriety of traffic conventions was now visible to everyone.
Vehicles can be seen parked on double yellow lines, at corners, or on zebra crossings, without the drivers in their seat. And while some might be quick to refer to the recent traffic enforcement relaxation this year, the imagery was collected for Google between September and December of 2016.
Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps which was launched in May 2007 and is currently available in more than 83 countries. Internet users can virtually “walk” along the streets all over Malta and Gozo, and even step into and tour several museums.
The launch in Malta was welcomed by several, some of whom had spotted the Street View car last year going around the islands taking 360-degree pictures of many locations, including heritage and touristic attractions.
But as in other countries, the service also stirred complaints about privacy issues, with some protesting that they did not want their house, car or even themselves (albeit with blurred faces) showing in Google’s Street View.
When contacted, Picture Perfect Malta, which is one of the local Google Street View Trusted Photographers, told Times of Malta that Google has a report system: Internet users can flag photos for removal from Maps using a desktop computer or mobile device.
Look up Malta on www.google.com/culturalinstitute.
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