It seems like Bing Maps may have a few skeletons in its closet when it comes to street view images. More specifically, a recently discovered set of images showing a homicide victim in the Baltimore Curtis Bay area.
According to the Bing Maps timestamp, the images were taken on April 29th, 2015, but it’s unclear when Bing Maps uploaded the images, or how long they had been publically accessible.
A Microsoft spokesperson responded to questions about Bing’s image approval process (via Gizmodo). The statement focused on the inability for the automated process to blur the gruesome scene.
Bing Maps relies, “on automated machine algorithms to blur faces and license plates to minimize personally identifiable information in our imagery.” In this particular instance, the issue has less to do with personally identifying information as much as a gruesome active crime scene. In any event, the spokesperson stated that, “we have been notified of this image and are in the process of removing it from our servers which we expect to be complete in the next few hours.”
The image has indeed already been removed. Now when you visit the street corner, a large white censor greets the user without any context. Likely, it will remain blank until Bing Maps is able to replace it with a more current image.
Should Bing Maps do more to clear images for publication? Let us know what you think in the comments below.