Search Results for: google "street view" privacy

Egg Tossing Germans Show Support for Google

You really know it’s the day before Thanksgiving when the following can be passed off as news.

Apparently Google has some fans in Deutschland as evidenced by how these supporters have shown their ‘love’. As you may or may not know, Germany has been a bit of a flashpoint for Google’s continuing Street View battles regarding privacy etc etc. As a result of this battle, Google provided Germans the opportunity to opt out of the program by allowing households to say “Nein” to the service and have their home blurred out of their street view.

As Search Engine Land reports, German Google supporters have shown an odd way to exhibit their Google-lust.

Some people who chose to blur their houses on Google Street View in Germany received an unexpected real life blurring: Google fans who threw eggs at their homes.

Japanese Group Wants Google to Stop “Violating Privacy Rights” of Citizens

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.”

Google Actually Apologizes for Collecting Extra Personal Data

(Meanwhile, encrypted search is coming this week.)

Google recently realized they’d inadvertently been drive-by spying on WiFi networks. Part of the data collection was intentional: they meant to collect the SSID info and MAC addresses as they drove by in Street View cars—but they unintentionally went beyond that to collect whatever snippets of information were transmitted over non-passworded networks:

In that blog post [here], and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.

Google Collects Part of Kids’ Social Security Numbers for Contest

Google can’t seem to get out of its own way sometimes. Of course, it is a big company that may have certain parts doing one thing while another part does another without real knowledge of each other’s plans. That happens in big business. Of course, you would suspect that there is some kind of algorithm keeping everyone in order, right? If it is, it certainly doesn’t have a “WTF?” filter on it.

Apparently there needs to be some good old fashioned human supervision based on some of the decisions coming out of the Googleplex these days. The latest is the fact that Google collected the final four digits of the entrants of an art contest whose entrants were kids. Google claims a ‘no harm, no foul’ on this one but just the idea of it happening is enough for a raised eyebrow or two.

Google Gets Hit With Fine for Obstructing FCC Investigation

Google’s Street View is a very helpful tool when you’re driving to a place you’ve never visited before. But what are we willing to give up in return for the convenience? No one wants to pay in cash for the service, so how about you turn over your web history and email instead?

More than a year ago, the FCC began an investigation about the data collected by Google’s Street View teams. It was learned that in addition to photographing an area, the happy little cars also scooped up data from unprotected wireless networks.

Google has never denied the data collection, but they have had a variety of explanations. According to a report in the LA Times, Google first went with the theory that an “unauthorized engineer” put the plan in motion without permission from the company. The data was collected but no one did anything with it.

Beware of Google Agent 007

Google is so good at what it does that it actually uncovers illegal acts and helps bring perpetrators to justice. Well that may be a bit of a stretch but in the “is that really news department” is an incident where the roving Google camera caught a Canadian tree-killer in the act. As a result, the parties that were committing “treeicide” (not a real word, I know but this is a blog, remember) may find themselves facing some significant fines.

Wired magazine tells us

Forget about all of those ubiquitous police surveillance cameras in your city: the new sheriff in town is that shifty Google Maps camera wheeling through your neighborhood.

Recently, a property owner in Canada was charged with illegal removal of trees after a Google camera helped capture the evidence, according to CanWest News Service.

Google Looking at Facial Recognition

Just what Google needs right now: a way to look even more invasive. Privacy concerns for the Internet and Google in particular have skyrocketed this year, as Buzz has prompted privacy concerns since the day it rolled out. But the trend goes further back with Google Street View.

Although that service blurs the images of passersby and license plates (and will remove images on request), Google is thinking about going to the opposite extreme soon: facial recognition technology, the Financial Times reports.

Oh great.

FT points out that Google already uses the technology in Picasa, so it certainly has the capacity to expand the service. (They chose not to include it in Google Goggles, though.) CEO Eric Schmidt said: