The Campaign Against Surveillance Society, a Japanese group of lawyers and professors, wants Google to stop providing its Street View imaging service of Japanese cities and delete all saved images, according to Reuters.
Google’s Street View offers 360 degree views of 12 Japanese cities–as well as 50 in the US–but the Japanese group believes the tool violates citizens’ privacy.
“We strongly suspect that what Google has been doing deeply violates a basic right that humans have,” Yasuhiko Tajima, a professor of constitutional law at Sophia University in Tokyo, told Reuters by telephone.
“It is necessary to warn society that an IT giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service.”
For the most part, Google is not breaking any law, by taking photos of anything viewable from a public place. Still, the question becomes “just because it is legal to take the photos, is it ethical?”
There’s no official response from Google, but after facing similar complaints in the past, Google has started testing face-blurring technology–something I’m sure we’ll see offered to the residents of Japan.