Google’s Street View Plans for India Rejected by Home Ministry

  • Panel of security agencies, defense forces concluded concerns
  • Security risks highlighted as reason for service’s rejection

India’s Home Ministry has rejected Google’s plan to include photography of the country’s roads, tourist attractions, rivers and mountains in its free Street View mapping service.

A panel consisting of security agencies and defense forces concluded Alphabet Inc.’s Google could not offer the 360-degree imagery to users due to security concerns, said a government official who asked not to be named because the information has not yet been made public.

Google India had no comment, and spokesman Gaurav Bhaskar said the company had received no communication from the government.

The officials are said to have cited the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks where attackers used photographic reconnaissance to identify and target locations.

Google’s camera-mounted cars were to roam the cities collecting images from roads and public locations for its free Street View service. It would have resulted in more detailed street-level photography than the limited selection currently available on the service for India, such as the areas around the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort in Delhi and the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

India’s security agencies and defense officials have been cautious of allowing Google to have a free run to capture imagery as the country has had multiple terrorist incidents based on attackers extensively photographing their targets in advance.

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