Official Street View Website

For Google's official website on Street View locations (present and future) and much more, go to:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Privacy invasion? No way.

There have been many complaints from Americans about privacy concerns. One newspaper even brought up the argument "What if you're caught in a place you're not supposed to be?", while others don't want pictures of their cat on Street View. What is all this madness? Google is very nice to do this for us, and especially to provide it free to everyone. It is very useful and fun, and the images aren't live, and many are of poor quality. So why are people against it so much?

Street View images are very old, and when Google makes a mistake, they fix it ASAP. Remember the Boring family? They sued Google because their car drove on their private road. That was Google's mistake, and the images have been removed, but the Borings still aren't happy. These types of cases are true mistakes, but they should not be fussed over so much. Also, filing a lawsuit because someone found your hiding place actually makes people want to see your home, not get people away from it.

One lady in Oakland found her cat sitting in her window of her home on Street View, and was creeped out by the detail on the Internet available. First of all, although cats can be quite defensive of their personal space, you can't really invade a cat's privacy. Does taking a picture of an elephant from space invade a zookeeper's privacy? Nope.

Then there are all those images of people in weird positions. You find people in those positions all the time. These are just regular people that we can laugh at. It's not an invasion of privacy if you're seen in a public area, no matter what you're doing. However, some images we wouldn't like to see, such as a woman's underwear or a dog pooing, so Google helps us out there, but those still aren't an invasion of privacy.

And finally, there's Googlephobia, where people think that Street View might go in their backyard or inside their homes or even real-time live video. hat' just not going to happen soon, and laws would really have to be changed for that to be legal, so don't worry about that.

Street View is a tool, not a toy or a spy. Google makes mistakes just like you and me, but at least it's rare, and the cost is definitely worth the benefit.

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