Google forced to remove 'dead body' images from Brazil Street View service
Google has been forced to remove graphic images from its Street View service in Brazil after it captured images of dead bodies.
Less than a week after its debut in the South American country, the search engine giant withdrew the images following complaints.
One of the images posted last week on several websites included one that showed a body covered up with black plastic on a busy avenue in Rio de Janeiro.
It was surrounded by military police cars on the street corner in Belo Horizonte, as officers hold back a crowd of onlookers.
Another image appears to show a body lying at the edge of another Rio road, Avenida Presidente Vargas, as cars drive past. There does not appear to be any police cars or other bystanders visible.
It is not known if the drivers of the Street View cars saw the bodies.
Other internet blogs have reported bodies also showing up in street images of other cities in Latin America's biggest nation.
Brazil is the first South American country to get the controversial service. It was announced last week it would map Antarctica.
According to the latest figures available from the United Nations, there were more than 48,000 homicides recorded in Brazil in 2007. This was less than the 51,000 recorded in 2003.
A Google spokesman said in a statement that "all images of the bodies were removed" from its mapping service.
The tech giant has previously said that Street View images were “no different to what anyone might expect to see for themselves around the country”.
“Sometimes that means our cars inadvertently capture odd or inappropriate moments as they drive past,” the spokesman said.
''This is why we have put in place tools so that if people see what they believe to be inappropriate, they can report them to us using the simple reporting tool and the images will be quickly removed or further blurring applied.''
In August, a schoolgirl, Azura Beebeejaun, 10, sparked panic after she was photographed lying face down and seemingly dead on Google Street View.