I’ve always wondered how Google was able to make it happen; drive around in a car with a 360 degree camera attached that captures details of every street, no matter how small, and publish them on the internet for anyone and everyone to view. Street View was first implemented into Google Earth in 2008. The United States is the country that has received the most coverage up to this day, and they’ve even covered parts of Antarctica! You can see this is a great technology for those interested in getting a view of what something is like somewhere, but what about the risks that are involved in this idea?
Since launch, Google has improved their product significantly. There are even ways they can look into yards and over privacy walls since the camera is elevated. This has caused great concern for those who wish to have their privacy respected. In Germany on May 14, 2010, Google was accused of gathering private information on WiFi networks. The company has posted a blog admitting to their fault and has since corrected it. Other concerns such as parents fearing for the security of their children, the Department of Homeland Security banning US military bases and other sensitive areas, as well as other sensitive content that the vehicles just happen to pass by. You can only imagine.
Some recent things that have hit the news are the complaints of “intrusion” and “invasion” of privacy in Greenwich, CT. People are worried that not only is the Google service these things, but residents of homes are worried about break-ins and crime because they can scope things out beforehand. Just earlier today, articles were relased stating that a Google driver was caught on the wrong end of the fence while driving through Detroit and photographed a kid aiming a gun at the vehicle!
I look forward to the future of the Google Street View and seeing what other things become of it. People deserve their privacy and while these things may be an inconvenience, Google captures some amazing things; I will leave you with this.
Photo by: Kevin May
Google Street View Wikipedia
Google Street View sparks privacy issues in Greenwich
Google Street View Camera Captures the Business End of a Gun