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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 aegisofrime on 4/3/2009 3:41:41 PM , Rating: 4
Hmmm... The current state of the UK certainly sounds like it's gonna lead to the events of V for Vendetta huh? Oppressive government?


RE: Privacy
By B3an on 4/4/2009 8:48:41 AM , Rating: 1
LOL I really doubt that. And that film is so bad...

I think Jabber is just paranoid. He wont be moaning about them if something happened to him late at night outside and there was no one else around but the people viewing the feeds of the CCTV cameras.
My friend recently got accused of stealing a mobile phone near London, but after police viewed the CCTV tape and see she didn't do it, charges were dropped. Theres many other examples like this aswell.


RE: Privacy
By jabber on 4/4/2009 12:12:08 PM , Rating: 3
"He wont be moaning about them if something happened to him late at night outside and there was no one else around but the people viewing the feeds of the CCTV cameras."

Not much use to me though when I'm laying on a slab with a knife in my chest.

They dont stop the crime. They are only useful for cleaning up afterwards..maybe.

In fact we had a murder two nights ago on the very street I'm talking about. CCTV didnt stop that either.

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/News/story....


RE: Privacy
By jabber on 4/6/2009 6:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Privacy
By Alexstarfire on 4/4/2009 4:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Of course if they used the CCTV to find her in the first place then it's a total moot point. Not only that wouldn't they actually have to find the phone for her to get convicted of stealing. Being accused means very little with no evidence to back it up.


RE: Privacy
By jRaskell on 4/6/2009 12:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Being accused means very little with no evidence to back it up.


Theoretically and technically speaking, that is true. Realistically speaking though, there are numerous scenarios where accusations cost people dearly with no evidence to back them up.


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