Google's Street View has come under fire from a UK privacy watchdog prior to its impending release in the UK.
Street View provides a wide variety of photos matched with locations on Google Maps.
The images are captured by a fleet of cars fitted with cameras and can include passers-by, which Privacy International believes breaks data protection laws.
Similar complaints and concerns have already been raised in the US, and Google has removed some images on request.
Another approach has been to use recognition software to automatically blur faces in any of the pictures.
"Google's new Street View service due to hit the UK soon is good for consumers and provides value, but the company is likely to be in breach of privacy laws," said Martin Warner, co-founder of Technology of Tomorrow 2008.
"There are ways round this for Google, but it could prove very costly to doctor images to remove people from Street View, which could threaten the product."
A Google spokesman said that Street View will not launch in UK until the firm is comfortable that it complies with local law, including law relating to the display of images of individuals.
"We will use technology, like face-blurring, and operational controls, such as image removal tools, so that Street View remains useful and in keeping with local norms wherever it is available," he said.
Privacy International remains unconvinced of the viability of the face-blurring software, however.
The organisation has written to Google seeking technical information about the technology and has promised to go to the Information Commissioner's Office if it does not get a timely response.
"While most large companies have to deal with these issues at some point, it is clear that Google is becoming a victim of its own success," said Warner.
"Even though there are some serious ramifications for Google in these latest attempts to ensure that it toes the line, it will probably get through them without revenue suffering but will have to rethink its go-to-market approach in certain services."
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