Saturday, June 02, 2007

Peeping Google?

Google's release of a new feature for Google Maps has created quite a stir. It's a feature that allows you to see street-level 360 degree pictures of streets in some major US cities. While it may sound really cool, some people are worried about what this may mean for people in these cities.

The following are a few quotes from an article from iTWire and my responses to the concerns:
Online reports of a man picking his nose, another scaling a wall, yet another at the entrance of a strip joint have been found and discussed, while the hunt is on to see what else the photos contain. The discovery some photos allow web surfers to see inside homes through open windows has also caused alarm.
First of all, GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF YOUR NOSE! WHAT ARE YOU, LIKE 12?

People who don't want others to know that they, for instance, climb walls or visit "gentleman's clubs" need to stop doing those things in public. These pictures were not taken inside people's homes. They were taken from the street. That means anyone out on the street can see the exact same things that can be viewed online. Don't want people to see you go in that strip club? Don't go in.
Google’s new Street View mapping service certainly does add a whole extra level of usefulness to their mapping service, especially as it grows to cover cities worldwide. But if public opinion has anything to do with it, the unintended ‘Go ogle’ feature of seeing faces, seeing into homes, seeing license plate numbers and other private detail on Google Maps is one feature that’s likely to disappear.
I doubt it.


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