Camera-shy residents across the borough are rushing to have photographs showing their houses, cars and indiscretions removed from a new internet mapping tool.
Street View was activated through the search engine Google last Thursday and gives users the power to take a virtual tour round their chosen section of London.
Despite being highly praised in the beginning, criticism quickly surfaced after people found they could zoom right up to look in windows, read registration plates and catch residents doing embarrassing things.
Already in Hillingdon many images have been blocked, including one sent in by eagle-eyed Gazette columnist Cathy Ranson, who found a driver being stopped by police in Cowley Road.
She said: "It set me thinking what other images people can see in their areas. Also, I wonder how many have asked to have those images removed?"
In the case of the Cowley Road photograph, the image shown now appears to have been replaced by one taken on a different day with a van instead of a car and no police in sight.
Lee Bramzell, chief executive of Property Index, an internet site for homebuyers, is defending Google and said: "Once the teething problems with Google Street View have been ironed out, it's set to revolutionise the property industry."
Gazette senior photographer Toby Vandevelde turned the tables on Google when he photographed their camera car on Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, on August 1 last year.
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