Google the Peeping-Tom?
Yesterday’s post asking if Google’s new street views for Google Maps was an invasion of privacy, turns out to be just one of many around the web. In fact, The New York Times jumps on the story and looks at whether Google is indeed invading our privacy.
â€œThe issue that I have ultimately is about where you draw the line between taking public photos and zooming in on peopleâ€™s lives,â€ Ms. Kalin-Casey said in an interview Thursday on the front steps of the building. â€œThe next step might be seeing books on my shelf. If the government was doing this, people would be outraged.â€
Her husband quickly added, â€œItâ€™s like peeping.â€
As Jordan and many others pointed out in our comments, Google’s likely not breaking any laws, and NYT points out the company did a lot of research before introducing the feature.
Google said in a statement that it takes privacy seriously and considered the privacy implications of its service before it was introduced on Tuesday. â€œStreet View only features imagery taken on public property,â€ the company said. â€œThis imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street.â€
Google said that it had consulted with public service organizations and considered their feedback in developing the service, which allows users to request that a photo be removed for privacy reasons. A Google spokeswoman said the company had received few such requests.
A mapping consultant shares the same view…
Edward A. Jurkevics, a principal at Chesapeake Analytics, a consulting firm specializing in mapping and imagery, said that courts have consistently ruled that people in public spaces can be photographed. â€œIn terms of privacy, I doubt if there is much of a problem,â€ Mr. Jurkevics said.
Still, it is spooky and you have to agree with the statement that if this were the work of the government, we’d be a lot more freaked out.
PS. Interested in learning about the cameras used to take the photos? CNET has the details.
PPS. And the Top 15 Google Street View Sightings, according to Mashable, include:
09. The guy with no head.
This guy shouldnâ€™t complain, at least itâ€™s hard to identify him.
02. Crime in progress
Maybe the guy just forgot his keys. Or heâ€™s practicing for the free climbing contest. Hey, is that a lockpicking set dangling out of his pocket?