Print 105 comment(s) - last by akosixiv.. on Apr 8 at 5:04 PM

Residents in the village of Broughton in the UK recently chased away a Google StreetView car, which they accused of aiding criminals. This is a image of Broughton taken from a Google satellite -- which the villagers were unable to chase away.  (Source: Google Earth)
Residents say Google is supporting criminal activities

Launched in 2007, Google Street View was Google's most ambitious mapping effort yet.  The program aimed to provide 3D views of city streets.  In order to do this, Google sent out a fleet of automobiles and bikes across different countries mapping out regions, street by street. 

The result was a resounding success; to date it has provided 3D views in many countries -- United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  However, as Google recently discovered, not every is a fan of its unique web application.

When Google's Street View car rolled into the little UK village of Broughton, north of London, they were greeted by angry locals.  Apparently, the residents of the affluent town feared that the Street View images of their community would give burglars the ideal tool to scout out the neighborhood for robberies.

Describes Paul Jacobs to The Times of London, "I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane.  My immediate reaction was anger: How dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime."

He continues, "This is an affluent area. We've already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it's an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police."

The residents called the police, which escorted the Google car out of town.  A Google spokesperson commented on the incident, "Embarking on new projects, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, and Street View has been no exception.  We know that some people are uncomfortable with images of their houses or cars being included in the product, which is why we provide an easy way to request removal of imagery. Most imagery requests are processed within hours.”

The spokesperson adds, "We take privacy very seriously, and we were careful to ensure that all images in our Street View service abide by UK law."

Google has taken to removing images and blurring peoples' faces and license plates in Street View to protect privacy.  However, the British incident is far from the first problem the endeavor has encountered. 

Street View in particular has yielded embarrassment for criminals and law abiding citizens alike, catching people committing crimes or behaving in embarrassing ways

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Privacy
By ApfDaMan on 4/3/2009 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well you cant chase away a CCTV camera.

But more convicingly, the CCTV footage isnt posted for the world to see. i hear that CCTV footage was a great aid in catching the terrorists responsible for the london bombings, but as mentioned, there are a LOT of them, to the point where it is ludicrous.

They are even proposing to build a state CCTV camera system in which all CCTV cameras in my city are linked so police have a state network of CCTV cameras, the main focus being cameras installed in homes currently, which police wish to have streamed in.. a stupid idea in my opinion, almost as stupid as internet filtering, something that will just never happen. Not fully anyway.

RE: Privacy
By ekv on 4/4/2009 5:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
"proposing to build a state CCTV" system...

All I can think is Big Brother. That or SkyNet^H^H^H^H^H^H uhh, Google.

Kind of reminds me of "That Hideous Strength" by C.S. Lewis [the last novel in 'The Space Trilogy']. The parallels are eerie if you think about it.

RE: Privacy
By jtesoro on 4/4/2009 11:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
When I first read 1984 a few years ago, I thought the concept of cameras everywhere (even at home) was ridiculous. Now thanks to the UK it's getting closer and closer to reality. Incredible.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki