Bristol fraud fears over number plates on Google

A Bristol resident claim Google has created a criminals' free-for-all by allowing car number plates to be seen on its new Street View website.

Bristol is one of 25 cities in Britain which have been chosen for the website where internet users can see "virtual" pictures of streets.

They can even traverse down the streets, turn around and look up or down.

Google said that number plates and people's faces would be blurred to prevent fraud and protect people's privacy.

But David Neil, an aircraft engineer of Tulip Avenue, says he has found several cars where the number plates could clearly be identified. Click here!

He is concerned the information, available to anyone with internet access, could be used by criminals.

Google said it has had Street View approved for security purposes by the Government and police forces around the country.

A simple complaints procedure allows anyone who finds sensitive information on the system to report it direct to company, a spokeswoman said.

When the Post checked the addresses Mr Willingham reported in Egerton Road and Berkeley Road, Bishopston the images had already been removed from the site.

But at other unreported locations there were number plates which were clearly visible.

Mr Willingham said: "These images demonstrate Google's privacy promises are somewhat hollow.

"Given that I have already found three examples near my street alone, how many other number plates in Bristol may remain uncensored?"

He was contacted by Mr Peterson to say that the number plates number of his Ford could be seen by the whole world on the internet.

Mr Knott said: "I have been told that this information could be used for all sorts of criminal activities, identity theft and so on.

"Google say they are going to blur all the number plates so to find out that mine can still be seen was something of a concern.

"I think the Street View is a fantastic tool but to have your number plate so easily accessible is a worry."

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