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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

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RE: Privacy
By wordsworm on 4/3/2009 2:19:57 PM , Rating: 3
"People complain about privacy, but when you are out in public, your give up certain privacy freedoms... hence the reason it is called "public""

So you're OK with a camera inside a public bathroom? Public means that anyone can use it. People should still be able to expect a certain degree of privacy while in public. Celebrities really get it bad in public. I don't blame someone like Britney Spears for going a little crazy. Leave the poor girl alone in peace. Let her do her singing and dancing and have a good time of it, but leave her alone in pubic for crying out loud. That goes for all the other celebrities. A certain degree of respect should be enforced in public.

RE: Privacy
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 2:27:41 PM , Rating: 3
I'd have to disagree about Britney, the publicity is part of the job, she knew this going into her career and can opt to have another line of work instead, eventually falling out of popularity like all other retired pop stars have.

RE: Privacy
By wordsworm on 4/3/2009 4:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
Publicity is a part of the job. But getting hounded should not be a part of it. Imagine you started getting hounded everywhere, and every instance of your life speculated on and examined in the way that celeb rags do. No one should be subjected to the crap that those rags and their paparazzi.

RE: Privacy
By xsilver on 4/3/2009 7:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
She gets hounded because she's a carcrash waiting to happen. If there was no semi naked drunken stupor with her the papparazi would find someone better to stalk.
Thats why certain stars get no coverage - they are boring/private.

RE: Privacy
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 9:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
So you figure the millions she's been paid are just for sitting around partying, writing a song every now and then and shaking her hips on stage?

It's a package deal, that's how it was before she chose the career and that's how it'll be when the next starlet comes along. Want privacy? Then don't put yourself in the spotlight, duh?

RE: Privacy
By wordsworm on 4/4/2009 9:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
I figure she's a human being and deserves to have her privacy respected.

RE: Privacy
By mindless1 on 4/4/2009 8:34:52 PM , Rating: 1
Until she _CHOOSES_ to become a celebrity.

If work was desirable to the employees they wouldn't have to be paid. This is a fact of life, part of the career Britney chose. If she doesn't want that, there are plenty of people willing to take her place as she is free to choose another career at any time.

It's the equivalent of saying your garbage man is a human being so he deserves not to smell garbage, but nobody put a gun to his head when he took the job.

RE: Privacy
By wordsworm on 4/5/2009 1:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
Your analogy isn't at all accurate. If, on the other hand, you said we should be free to spit on a garbage man because he collects garbage, that would be a correct analogy. Then I would feel free to say that we indeed should respect the garbage man as we do a lawyer or doctor. That would be in accordance with the philosophy of a free and equal society.

I'm fine with the way the media discusses her activities. I'm not fine with the way they harass her or any of the others. They are going too far. Just because they're successful, it should not mean that they lose their right to privacy. From what I understand, Angelina Jolie's house is under constant surveillance from the media. That is really unacceptable and the police and courts should do something about it.

RE: Privacy
By mindless1 on 4/5/2009 10:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that some reporters go over the line. I do not agree that she should expect anything different than other celebrities face.

She KNEW going into it, sorry but these are the facts of life, you don't shake your ass and get paid millions without any side effects and that is just the WAY IT IS.

RE: Privacy
By cunning plan on 4/6/2009 4:22:15 AM , Rating: 2
Leaveeeeee sneazing panda aloneeeeeee, I'm super serious!

RE: Privacy
By tmouse on 4/6/2009 8:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
Wow what an over the top extrapolation. Note the quote said CERTAIN privacy freedoms, not ALL. So being seen or photographed in public , such as on a street, is not unreasonable. In a public restroom one does have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Now if you choose to defecate on a street you waive that expectation of privacy, and will be arrested if caught, while its perfectly legal to do so in the "public" restroom. As for Britney...I don't care one way or the other.

RE: Privacy
By Aloonatic on 4/8/2009 3:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
You might have a point if celebrities respected themselves.

When do they get caught out doing something crazy in public? Oh yes, quite often it is just before a new single, album, film, book detailing all the dirty secrets and ins and outs of their "private" lives is being released.

In reality, they see the paparazzi as thieves, stealing little parts of their public life, which they want to release themselves, on their terms, in their own book, for their own profit.

They don't care about what the public knows or sees, they just want to make sure that they (and their agents, publicist....) get their beaks wet too.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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