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Google, Apple Maps Raise New Privacy Concerns

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Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

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CUPERTINO (CBS) — A New York Senator is raising new privacy questions as Internet giants Apple and Google announce plans to use ultra-powerful mapping technology.

Both Google and Apple are ready to use military-grade spy planes to update their maps of communities across the country.

The planes are powerful enough to be able to capture images as small as four inches, and could catch people inside their homes or in their backyards without their knowledge. That’s what has Senator Schumer so worried.

“Barbequing or sunbathing in your backyard shouldn’t be a public event. People should be free from the worry of some high-tech peeping Tom technology violating one’s privacy when in your own home,” Schumer said in a press release.

New York Senator Charles Schumer wants Apple and Google to let communities know when and where they’ll be mapping, so people are aware. He is also asking them to blur photos of people automatically, and to give property owners the right to have their property mapped.

Schumer has written a letter to the CEOs of Google and Apple, Larry Page and Tim Cook respectively, detailing his concerns and requests to protect people from an invasion of privacy.

“We appreciate the Senator’s concerns and we look forward to meeting with him to demonstrate how the imagery used to develop our 3D models is similar to what’s already publicly available in 2D mapping products. We currently don’t blur aerial imagery because the resolution isn’t sharp enough for it to be a concern,” a Google spokesperson told CBS News.

Apple did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.

(Copyright 2012 byCBSSan Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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