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Google Responds to Street View Concerns  (View post)

Damon Parker [PersonRank 1]

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
12 years ago5,109 views

We have similar laws here in the US for taking public photographs. But the courts have upheld that walking around in public does not guarantee you an expectation of privacy, you must prove the invasion.

How much of an invasion of privacy would it be to be walking into an adult book store
streetviewspy.com/story.php?ti ...

or a cannabis club in San Francisco
streetviewspy.com/story.php?ti ...

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I live in London, so the whole concept of privacy as it applies to being photographed in public is pretty mute. There's so many CCTV cameras here that I'm on camera almost from when I leave my house until I get back inside.

The difference is* only the police and government has access to the CCTV footage – but is that better or worse?

(*Also of course the CCTV is real-time video not stills like street views)

Mapper99 [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Is it legal to take pictures of a playground or park? I guess so as they are considered a public place. Kind of scary though. Take a look at this guys huge list of Google Street View privacy infactions:

streetviewgallery.corank.com

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

From above site maps.google.com/maps?f=q&h ...
Hash growing in window of a house

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mapper99: Why scary? It'd be more scary to me if I wasn't allowed to take a photo of my (theoretical) kids while they were playing in a park. Or if parents couldn't take photos of their kids playing sports.

Damon Parker [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #


There is no invasion of privacy inherent in that.... unless you just happened to catch Posh snogging someone else and tried to sell it later. There was no intent originally, but with the attempted sale, there was. (Of course thats all out the window because she is a public figure and has less protection in public, at least here.)

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

12 years ago #

Google could avoid a lot of concerns and bad press if they came up with a way to blur certain aspects of these street views automatically. They could begin with faces and license plates for starters.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Reto Meier: A plethora of private security personnel watch the CCTV videos. Studies show that the mostly male security agents often use the cameras to watch women in a voyeuristic way.

Damon Parker [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Libran Lover: that would take all of the controversy out of it (which I'm sure Google likes right now)

Plus the images just wouldn't look as nice.

You can't tell me that Google isn't trying to bank on everyone's voyeuristic nature.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Agreed, blurring the faces would take out some of the fun (unless you happen to be the one on the photo doing something silly). Putting one of those black bars over the eyes might be another option.

Or we could start to separate city regions into follow and nofollow zones... a red light district being a good candidate for a nofollow zone. But then again, that would be censorship... and I bet some would really like to use Street View on all regions of, say, Amsterdam.

But I guess people have to commit their sins during night time again – Google could have a gentleman's agreement not to index anything during the night, e.g. with infrared cameras (though I wonder what the laws in *that* context are...!).

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tadeusz: that's interesting about the studies. OT, I know, but could you point me to them?

Damon Parker [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Can anyone imagine a (not too distant) future where spying by the government is not the norm?

I fully believe its going to happen… and soon. I certainly don’t want it to but I don’t believe we can fight this type of ‘progress’. I’m leaning now to ways of controlling and limiting it more in the favor of the average Joe.

In this case, Google is making money and gaining popularity off of some of our faces. Shouldn’t they have to reimburse us?

Nanaki [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

I really hope (and think) this isn't possible in Europe. I don't feel like having this sort of privacy breach (which it is). The only thing we have in return is a useless feature.

For me it's the first time Google has gone too far.

moogld [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

We run a streetview aggregate site. Our users who are anonymous have been posting links that are educational (murals of San Francisco) and of their favorite spot in a city or restaurant.

I think once the novelty wears off, people will find taking a virtual tour of a selected city will be a huge benefit.

moogld.com

Mark Draughn [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

I do some street photography, so I've read-up on the photography laws of the United States. In general, if your presence is legal, it's also legal for you to take pictures, unless the property owner specifically prohibits photography as a condition of entry. When the owner is the government, outdoor photography is nearly always allowed (with the exception of some national security facilities). Under those circumstances, you are legally free to take pictures of almost anything---celebrities, children, bridges, airports, criminal activities, police officers.

That's taking pictures. Publishing them is a completely different matter. People have a right of publicity in their image, that is, they have some rights to control how their image is used. In general, they have less control when their presence is a small part of the image, the images aren't being sold for money, and the image isn't being used to imply an endorsement or affiliation. There are few limits on photos for journalism or education.

The gentleman walking into the adult bookstore is an interesting case. If he were recognizable, he might be able to sue if he actually walked past the bookstore without going in, because the photograph portrayed him in a false light.

JMay [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I personally think Google is handling this well, and despite some major security concerns from the public (see CBS clip: thenewsroom.com/details/394362 ...) their technology is innovative and could really open a lot of doors – everything from touring prospects to finding one's way around a new town easier.

Way to go google!

- Jennifer from The Science Desk at TheNewsRoom.com

Michael Zimmer [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

No images of abortion clinics? I found the NYC Planned Parenthood clinic on the first day!
michaelzimmer.org/2007/05/29/5 ...
(and its still viewable today)

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