A local politician has expressed her “astonishment” at Google's controversial new Street View function, saying it will help turn the UK into a “surveillance state”.

This week, internet giants Google launched its new on-line function which allows internet surfers to zoom in on digital pictures of roads across the globe, including many streets in Watford.

The launch comes after Google has spent a year driving cars around towns and villages throughout the country taking pictures to upload to their maps function.

The new cyber-gadget has been developed as part of Google Maps, but has been criticised because it show high quality photos of peoples' homes.

Faces of people captured on the street and car registration number plates have been blurred.

However, Sal Brinton, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Watford, has already expressed her concern.

She said: “I was astonished when I saw the detail of the photographs held in Google's database.

“The detail is very clear.

“Between the Labour Government and functionality like this we are turning into a surveillance state.

“The example that was drawn to my attention was that of one of our candidates who 'googled' her home address to find a picture of her car sat outside her home.”

Ms Brinton added: "This is an appalling invasion into our privacy. I am sure when people see the picture of their own homes, and the detail that has been collected they will be shocked.”

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