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EU Says Google Street View Violates Privacy

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the watch-where-you-point-that-thing dept.

Google 300

upto0013 notes the latest spot of trouble for Google in Europe: the EU says that Google's Street View images violate privacy laws. The EU's privacy watchdog asked Google to notify cities and towns before photographing (Google says it does this already) and to delete original photos after 6 months (Google keeps them for a year and says it has reason to do so). "[T]he privacy official] said that the company should revise its 'disproportionate' policy of keeping the original unblurred images for up to a year, saying improvements in Google's blurring technology and better public awareness would lead to fewer complaints — and a shorter delay for people to react to the photos they see on the site. Complaints about the images put online would usually be checked against the original photos."

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300 comments

Police is investigating it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287460)

There's criminal investigations in Finland about Google Street view too, after a man was photographed nude in his back porch [yle.fi] and another case when an underaged girl was photographed nude in beach and put in the Street view.

Re:Police is investigating it too (5, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287632)

Future quote from Eric Schmidt, Google CEO:

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to see, maybe you shouldn't have it in the first place."

Re:Police is investigating it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288030)

That's not really fair. After all, we do wear pants in public. Well, most of us, anyway.

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288628)

these people [improveverywhere.com] don't. I guess that's why they do it in a subway... But in all seriousness, I don't think these people would complain either.

Re:Police is investigating it too (2, Informative)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288378)

Well ... [msn.co.nz]

Married Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has forced his mistress to
remove her personal blog from the web, according to reports. The
54-year-old CEO has been linked to other women in the past and he is
believed to be either separated or in an open relationship with his
wife Wendy.

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288418)

Which means I have to demolish my home ?

Re:Police is investigating it too (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288438)

Future quote from A Lawyer, EU Chief Privacy Officer:

"No-one is perfect. In the real world, people occasionally make mistakes, and reveal things publicly that they did not expect or intend to share with the world. As you demonstrate no willingness to take this into account, we are imposing draconian laws that basically kill your business model. If your business model dies because many people will find it offensive, maybe you shouldn't have been doing it in the first place."

Re:Police is investigating it too (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288606)

It would be a little more reasonable to say that "If you have something you don't want anyone to see, don't display it in a public area."

Re:Police is investigating it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287828)

sitting on his back porch with his pants down. The man’s face was blurred; however, his home and address were in plain view.

Huh. People keep their homes in the oddest places.

(*drumbeat*)

Re:Police is investigating it too (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287922)

Are you kidding me?! If you are sitting out somewhere where john Q public can walk by and see you in the buff, how much could you possibly really care about your privacy? Hey, if you don't want people to know that you sit naked on your porch, stop doing it! They can see you!

Re:Police is investigating it too (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288066)

If I remember correctly, that case involved Google's van photographing him over his garden wall, so no, he wasn't clearly visible to anyone just walking by. If you climbed up the garden wall and photographed people without clothes in their private property, you would be breaking law too. Even without even putting them on the Internet for everyone to see.

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288250)

I see, did they ask the Google to take down the photos and Google refused to comply or something?

Re:Police is investigating it too (3, Insightful)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288434)

That's pretty much irrelevant. As has been said on /. often enough, once it's posted on the Internet, it's essentially impossible to remove it later*.

*Unless what is posted is the only surviving copy of some piece of data that is critically important to you (your masters thesis, the open source project that was going to make you more famous than Linus, photographic evidence that bigfoot and/or the Roswell aliens actually exist, etc.). Then no matter how hard you look, it won't be cached anywhere.

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288450)

They asked and Google complied, but it doesn't change the fact that it was still against law to do so and then putting it on the Internet (and you know how easy it is to take down something once put on the Internet)

Re:Police is investigating it too (3, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288530)

That wooshing noise was the point flying over your head. The burden for preventing such a clear and abusive invasion of privacy should not lie with the potential abusee, and a system where people (or corporations) can invade your privacy and then share the results with the world unless you actively opt out does not scale.

I prefer the approach taken by Japan, where this over-the-wall problem was common given typical Japanese architecture and infringements were widespread, and Google was forced to throw away the lot.

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288342)

Are you insinuating that Google's camera van climbed this guy's fence to photograph this guy in the buff?

Re:Police is investigating it too (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288420)

No, but you know the camera is on top of the van (and itself quite tall), so it photographs places otherwise not visible. Lets try again: if you climbed on top of a van to photograph private properties otherwise not visible and took pictures of people without clothes there, you would be violating law.

Re:Police is investigating it too (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287932)

.. If you are nude and visible to a street large enough for the street view van to drive down, I believe the illegal activity is yours.

improvements in Google's blurring technology (0, Flamebait)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287494)

"...improvements in Google's blurring technology"

I love when governments make statements like this.

"Fix this techy thing we have no idea about and make it better. Should be easy right?"

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287656)

Technical incapability isn't an excuse to break laws.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287938)

So if the law mandates the impossible, go to jail, do not pass "Go", do not collect €200?

Your line of "thinking" verges on silly.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288350)

What impossible thing is mandated here? EU is just saying Google needs to fix their blurring technology as it violates privacy laws or stop doing what they're doing. If it's not technically possible for Google to automatically blur faces, then they need to hire people to do manual blurring or forget the whole thing in EU area.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288496)

Stupid question, but do they use Euros in European Monopoly?

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288588)

In what way does any law relevant to this discussion mandate the impossible? The law may make a certain business model unviable, but that is a very different thing.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288104)

Maybe Google could combine the current photo with the previous and subtract any people in the photo.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288416)

>>>Technical incapability isn't an excuse to break laws.

No it isn't, but what laws are being broken? Google is taking photos of *public* streets and the nearby view. This is no different than when painters used to sit with their paintings and draw what they saw, or when tourists captured images with their disposable cameras.

You have never had "privacy" outside the walls of your house.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288668)

Even if the law is daft?

What reasonable privacy can you expect in the out-of-doors or with the curtains open?

You don't like people looking into your yard, put up a high fence. You don't want to be on satellite? Sun yourself underneath the porch or a shade. It's the way the world is nowadays and making it illegal won't make the fundamental technology go away.

On the other hand (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287672)

What a difference it is to hear about a government (or quasi-government) fight for the privacy rights of citizens.

Here in the Land of the Free, we've just about given up that right. Thanks Osama, you motherfucker. You too, Bush.

Re:On the other hand (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287962)

Thanks Osama, you motherfucker. You too, Bush.

Did I say Thanks?

I meant Fuck You.

Re:On the other hand (0, Flamebait)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288510)

Osama or Obama?

Not that I disagree with you in either case...

Re:On the other hand (3, Insightful)

paimin (656338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288072)

Blame the leaders if that makes you feel better, but we're the ones that give it up, like a $5 whore.

Re:On the other hand (0, Troll)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288540)

Speak for yourself. I didn't vote for Obama, nor for any of my senators or representatives in Washington, either.

Re:On the other hand (2, Insightful)

paimin (656338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288624)

I didn't say you gave it up by voting for anyone.

Re:improvements in Google's blurring technology (2, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287966)

I love it when the government writes a law forcing someone else to do something, then the government officials who drafted the law take credit for it. Hilarious! As if those idiots ever did anything other than sit around and talk!

Screw the EU's privacy concerns (4, Insightful)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287514)

You know, the EU has a lot of nerve coming down on google for "privacy violations"; the same body who seems to have exactly no problem at all with Britain's blatant and constant violations, and they've actually been a MEMBER of the EU since 1973.

All politics, no substance, this. Moot, meaningless, next.

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287574)

that's why I immediately looked for the tag "potkettleblack", or, "hypocrisy", or something similar, attached to this story.

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287616)

You know, the EU has a lot of nerve coming down on google for "privacy violations"; the same body who seems to have exactly no problem at all with Britain's blatant and constant violations, and they've actually been a MEMBER of the EU since 1973.

The EU has been around since 1973? How in the world did they form before the internet was invented?

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (5, Informative)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287976)

The EU has been around since 1973?

1951: European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
1957: European Economic Community (EEC)
1967: European Community (EC)
1973: UK, Ireland & Denmark join EC
1993: European Union (EU)

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288354)

How in the world did they (= the EU) form before the internet was invented?

Just look at the first date in my previous reply: Steampunk.

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287618)

That's solely UK's own issue. EU isn't a government nor does it work like US. If UK blatantly and explicitly goes directly against some EU law, then they might say something about it.

What EU privacy law is UK specifically violating?

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (4, Interesting)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288174)

Retaining the DNA of innocent people and using stop and search powers without reasonable suspicion are two areas that come to mind, the UK government has been successfully prosecuted in the ECHR but has yet to comply with the rulings

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288524)

Also forcing you to give-up your encryption key, or else be placed in jail.
It doesn't matter if you're innocent - guilt is assumed.

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288618)

I'm guessing it's because the UK has lots of cameras especially in cities. London has thousands of CCTVs.

But of course that's different because the public don't get to see those camera recordings.

And they go conveniently blank/missing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Charles_de_Menezes#Missing_CCTV_footage [wikipedia.org]

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287710)

Let me guess, your argument is this: "Because the EU allows the UK to violate privacy so blatantly, it should also allow all other violations of privacy by any other person, company, or instituation."

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (2)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287774)

I'm not making an argument, im pointing out a massive hypocrisy that is clearly embedded in politics.

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (2, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288022)

That's right, that would be the fair thing to do. Seriously, isn't universal application generally considered an extremely important aspect of maintaining The Rule of Law (TM)?

Re:Screw the EU's privacy concerns (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288642)

You do realise that European-level courts have ruled several practices of the British government illegal, including some relating to privacy, in recent months? The fact that the government here is illegally failing to comply with those court rulings and getting away with it is disturbing, but what more would you have the EU do?

In any case, the British government at least has some degree of sovereignty and accountability to its electorate to contend with as a consequence. Google is a mere corporation, and contrary to the apparent expectations of some of its executives, it does not yet have the power to legislate itself above the law or to break the law with impunity.

Photos in public (4, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287516)

I really don't see the philosophical or policy basis for seeing this as something which privacy laws should prohibit. What is visible in public should be photographable to the public. If I can see it with my eyes without violating a law, why shouldn't I be able to photograph it? And if I can do it for individual photos why shouldn't Google be able to do it systematically?

Re:Photos in public (3, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287724)

"Officer, I was clearly standing on the street with my camera. It's not my fault that the girl was naked in her bedroom. She shouldn't have left the curtains open."

There's Peeping Tom laws in many places, for one thing, and there's lots of instances of individual efforts being acceptable where organized efforts are held to be unacceptable. For instance, refreshing on a site. One person does it, they're checking for new content. Many people do it, it's a DDoS.

Re:Photos in public (2, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287952)

All the street view images that I've seen are so fuzzy that I often can't decipher the large signs on the fronts of businesses, much less anything inside a residential window (curtains or not).

Re:Photos in public (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288064)

No, just slashdot.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288068)

there's lots of instances of individual efforts being acceptable where organized efforts are held to be unacceptable. For instance, refreshing on a site. One person does it, they're checking for new content. Many people do it, it's a DDoS.

I think that's more of a difference of intent rather than organization. The Slashdot effect isn't considered to be a DDoS (at least in the malicious/liability aspect) because the intent is to send people to the site to sincerely read the content.

Re:Photos in public (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288102)

I'm not sure how the law handles this but since the OP was refering to the philosophical or policy basis I would say that yes, she shouldn't have stood naked in front of a window that was visible to people standing in public areas. If Google Streetview captured something along this line I would expect that the conern would be more of a content one rather than a privacy violation though I'm sure it would also be grounds to charge the woman with indecent exposure. The situation should be different if they were using technology that let you see much more than you would ordinarily see with the naked eye. Regarding the DDoS, I think it would be absurd to charge someone with conducting a DDoS because they visited a Slashdot link to an already saturated website and periodically hit refresh to see if the site was back yet.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288352)

Euro Politician: Officer, I was clearly standing in the street exposing my penis to young girls as they walked by. Google shouldn't have driven by and photographed my penis. I chose to reveal my penis to the young girls but I did not choose to have my penis photographed and placed on the internet for everyone to see so Google has violated my privacy.

Re:Photos in public (1)

ramzafl (1427815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288452)

Those laws have everything to do with intent, and aren't applicable to this situation. Unless your trying to state me walking down the street filming a friend do a stunt and I happen to catch a nipple cause someone forgot to close their blinds, as illegal.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288568)

What is visible in public without going to extreme measures should be photographable to anyone with a camera. A peeping tom is usually going out of his way to take pictures that could not be taken ordinarily. It often, but not always, involves leaving the public easement and entering private property.

Re:Photos in public (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288578)

>>>>>"Officer, I was clearly standing on the street with my camera. It's not my fault that the girl was naked in her bedroom. She shouldn't have left the curtains open."
>>
>>There's Peeping Tom laws in many places, for one thing,

Here in the U.S. laws operate backwards. A Virginia woman was walking her kid to school, she looked through a front window where she saw a naked man, and she was offended for her self and her child. Reasonable people would either charge the woman with peeping, or else just say "it's a human body; don't be such a prude" and drop the case.

Instead the Virginia government arrested the naked man for indecent exposure even though he was *inside* his own house, and merely getting dressed for work.

Re:Photos in public (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288658)

"Officer, I was clearly standing on the street with my camera. It's not my fault that the girl was naked in her bedroom. She shouldn't have left the curtains open."

What's unreasonable about that? If you want privacy, close your curtains. It's not hard. I understand that peeping tom laws exist, but they shouldn't. Just close your curtains, no need to get the government involved.

Re:Photos in public (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287848)

However, remember that the Google van has the camera a lot higher than what you could see walking on the street. For example there has been many cases where the camera has photographed inside peoples apartment or over garden walls, even people without clothes. If you went taking photos of someones backyard that is otherwise shield, you would be violating law. Same thing if you went taking pictures of someone through his/her window. Google is doing exactly this, on a mass scale, and then putting them on the internet for everyone to see.

Re:Photos in public (5, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288042)

Higher than a double decker bus?

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287874)

With privacy and technology, one always has to be mindful.

For instance, what if some company developed a safe, perfectly passive see-through-walls device. Should they have the right to scan into your home from public property?

Or how about routers. We trust routers to just do their jobs: send packets across public networks. Should someone running a router (read:ISP) have the right to store any information which passes over their routers for any amount of time that they see fit?

Just a few edge cases; I haven't given it much thought.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287972)

If I can see it with my eyes without violating a law, why shouldn't I be able to photograph it?

You should. You should not, however, be allowed to disseminate it, without the subject's consent.

It's different and here's why. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288034)

Driving or walking by and seeing something is one thing. But being able to "see" via a computer database is another. Why? Because it allows the tying in of other data instantaneously and it enables the viewer to make connections, insights, conclusions, prejudices or whatever that would not be possible by the casual looker.

Here's a precedent: the collection of data by the credit bureaus.
In the beginning, those organizations were designed to allow for easy credit - before you needed letters of recommendation and references. Now, that data is included by ChoicPoint/Lexus Nexus and now everyone is doing background checks on people - because it's so damn easy now. Nothing to hide and you're OK? Ha!

When you go for a job, for example, even if the position has nothing to do with handling money, the employers do a credit check at the minimum. Bad credit or a lot of debt, say from student loans, you are denied a position. Basically you are denied employment for getting an education. The same goes for flying - a lot of debt raises a yellow flag with the TSA - extra screening! Auto insurance. HEALTH insurance! Cell plans. The list goes on some more.....

The more information that's collected, the more people with access to that information have to use against you. That's the reality of life these days.

Re:Photos in public (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288144)

I really don't see the philosophical or policy basis for seeing this as something which privacy laws should prohibit. What is visible in public should be photographable to the public. If I can see it with my eyes without violating a law, why shouldn't I be able to photograph it? And if I can do it for individual photos why shouldn't Google be able to do it systematically?

Just for the sake of argument...

You drop skin cells in public all the time. Would you object to me collecting them, analyzing your DNA, and then sharing with the world a list of your genetic limitations?

Or...

Women wear skirts in public. In various circumstances, for instance on glass walkways, this creates "visibility issues." That's not a big problem. Would it be acceptable for the owner of such a walkway to stick a camera underneath, photograph each person, then put the photos on a website that connects them with identifying information?

Cue a bunch of silly /. responses about hypothetical situation #2...

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288192)

For the same reason you can watch a performance with your own eyes, but not photograph it. The ability to see something does NOT imply the right to rebroadcast, retransmit, or store it.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288494)

I suggest we make a mooning club.

That's where groups of people come together find out where the camera will be today, and drop their drawers when it comes by, then hop into a car and drive to the next spot to do it again.

Re:Photos in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288686)

What is visible in public should be photographable to the public

Oh yeah? [tweetphoto.com]

how is the public private? (2, Insightful)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287538)

It's not like they are photographing the insides of peoples houses. They are photographing the streets and outsides of peoples houses. So unless they are hopping over walls of gated communities we are talking public spaces here. I must be missing something here, cause I don't get it! I can understand inside your house is your place, but outside your house is public space. Well unless they have to drive up a private driveway to get pictures of the driveway and if that is the case, it should be marked private property.

Re:how is the public private? (1)

Drasham (1626825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287734)

I agree, I am not sure I grasp how a picture taken out in public of pubic places violates privacy.

Re:how is the public private? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287840)

In Europa "Privacy" means much more then just "Things done on a private property".

Re:how is the public private? (2, Insightful)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287892)

I should look into copyrighting my house. Maybe I'll paint text all over it, and then copyright that.

I must be missing something here, cause I don't get it!

If there were a picture of my house in your personal photo albums, I would find that very weird. If I found you outside my house taking pictures of it from the street, I would feel vaguely threatened and would want to know what your motives were. If you told me that you were going to post them to make money and asserted your right to stand there taking pictures of my house, I would probably call the cops.

Re:how is the public private? (4, Insightful)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288088)

"If you told me that you were going to post them to make money and asserted your right to stand there taking pictures of my house, I would probably call the cops."

And in the US anyway, the cops would tell you that this is perfectly legal and to stop filing bogus complaints (or they SHOULD).

Necron69

Re:how is the public private? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288090)

So I suppose you're also opposed to turnitin as well?

Re:how is the public private? (5, Insightful)

Sheik Yerbouti (96423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288308)

You may feel that way but your feelings don't give you or anyone else the right to violate the rights of others to take pictures in a public place. I am a photographer and I bristle at the suggestion you have that right. Only because a lot of cops and people post 9/11 think that for some reason they do have the right to stop someone taking photographs in a public place. And they do not. Google has a right to do this taking photographs in a public place is legal the EU as usual is harping on companies out of bounds.

I can't believe the hipocracy what with the thousands of surveillance cameras in EU member state Great Britain. There are actually people watching those specifically to violate the privacy of UK citizens where's the outrage there?

At least... (1)

cbuosi (1492959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287540)

At least they dont do like the authorities: "Hey, do you have something to hide?"

Oh for fsck sake! (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287548)

Please try to come up with something more important than this! This absolutely rediculous because publishing a photo in a newspaper could also be an infringement of privacy!

Yes there are privacy concerns with Google, but please take some bigger issue asociated with Google than this!

Yes I am a big fan of Google. Yes I am using their services. No, I am also concerned about privacy when it comes to Google, just as much as any other info-indexing service..

.

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (4, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287802)

Please try to come up with something more important than this! This absolutely rediculous because publishing a photo in a newspaper could also be an infringement of privacy!

Except that it's consistently been held that for purposes of reporting something in the public interest is greater than an individual's privacy, and they *still* need to do due diligence in getting photographic releases for certain things. There's no news value in Google's Street View, and it's more pervasive. It's not a single picture, it's multiple pictures, angles, and setting.

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287982)

And even newspapers and tv channels have to be careful about it if normal people are involved. For example if you publish a photograph of someone accused of some crime with his face being identifiable, and it turns out he is innocent, newspapers will be liable to pay big sums for damages. This is also why the European versions of "Cops" always have peoples faces blurred while it doesn't seem to be so in the American version.

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288054)

TV shows in the US still usually have to get permission to show faces.

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288012)

It is multiple angles of location, but not multiple angles of a single person. Street View is never taken at the same time as a satalite image, proving that this is not about privacy infringement of data mining of individuals, but just from locations and buildings...

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (1, Troll)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288592)

Multiple angles of person or location doesn't matter. When an individual goes around taking multiple pictures of a building from many angles, you know what it's usually labelled? "Casing a joint." You know, gathering information for robbing it. Street View could potentially remove the need to *visit* a location before robbing it, especially with that page from a few days ago, "Please Rob Me" that links people's twitters and such to location-specific, showing when they're away from home. So yes, it's still privacy infringement. Google takes an "opt-out" position to privacy. That's the wrong way to do it. If they want to put my house up on the Internet for everyone to see, I want to know the *exact* time they're coming through, and I want a release form saying that it's okay to use images of MY property for THEIR gain. Because that's what street view is, exploitation of other people's property for Google's greater financial health.

Re:Oh for fsck sake! (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288688)

Except that it's consistently been held that for purposes of reporting something in the public interest is greater than an individual's privacy, and they *still* need to do due diligence in getting photographic releases for certain things. There's no news value in Google's Street View

But there is public interest in having Street View. With street view I can check out actual pictures of the intersections and buildings near my destination, and it's that much easier to find my way around. There are really no privacy implications because you're in public anyway.

Public spaces (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287562)

I've got friends in public spaces where the squirrels jump and a dog chases those cats away. No blur afforded to their faces, and Google watches them tie their shoelaces.

Oh, I've got friends in puuuublic spaces!

Who's next ? (2, Insightful)

tom_75 (1013457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287588)

"Ok, my fellow Europeans, we're done milking Microsoft for now. Who else do you know that rakes in over 6 billion greenies a year ? Hit them with a 10 digit, boys !"

Re:Who's next ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287768)

"Ok, my fellow senators, we're done sucking the cooperate tit of Microsoft for now. Who else do you know that rakes in over 6 billion greenies a year ? Hit them with a government bailout, boys !"

Re:Who's next ? (0, Offtopic)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287872)

"Ok, my fellow Europeans, we're done milking Microsoft for now. Who else do you know that rakes in over 6 billion greenies a year ? Hit them with a 10 digit, boys !"

Ok, moderators. What part of the above quote requires insight?

Do a second pass! (3, Insightful)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287660)

They could do two passes on places and use the double collected data in order remove people and other movable things. I think this is and practically theoretically feasible.

Surprise surprise (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287662)

Lets talk fines now

Re:Surprise surprise (0, Flamebait)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287834)

Or better yet. Let's absolve them of any regulation, since they're an American company. Wouldn't want to hurt them patriotic feelings.

Really? (4, Insightful)

koan (80826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31287722)

Privacy "watch dogs" in the UK are concerned, but the 300 CCTV cameras per block aren't a problem?

Re:Really? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288214)

But that's the government, you can trust the government. Google puts the information out there for everyone to see. You can't trust the average person, that's why you need the government.

P.S. The sarcasm is implied, but I have written this sentence to explicitly declare it.

Re:Really? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288620)

No, Privacy Watchdogs in the EU are concerned. Such a basic reading comprehension should remove any "insightful" modding. The EU allows individual nations to govern themselves, but the Street View affects ALL the countries, so the EU gets to handle it as a cohesive whole. Thus, the situations are not analogous. If the UK wanted to put up CCTV cameras in France to watch UK citizens on vacation, then it'd be more closely related to Street View.

Police cameras? Airport scanners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31287816)

Street view violates privacy but all of the various cameras around used by the police, and body scanners at airports, don't? WTF?

Make people aware they are photographed? (1)

M3.14 (1616191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288116)

Maybe google streetview cars should somehow make people aware they are snapped. Some form of a constant loop from a loudspeaker. Something like "All your from street visible base are belong to us" or just some other recognizable sample? On the other hand ... if the offended people did not check their own address in streetview it is their own fault.

Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288152)

So the UK government can spy on their own citizens without restriction, but if Google does then it is evil?

Surely the benefits outweigh the costs (1)

wintermute1974 (596184) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288198)

Surely I am not the only person living in the EU that sees Google Street Maps as a liberating technology. I have searched for countless things from my office and my home, and each time came away favourable with Street Maps. I think the EU is wrong on this one. What exactly are the dangers that they foresee with this technology?

Re:Surely the benefits outweigh the costs (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288644)

Not street MAPS, street VIEW. You know? Pictures that show exactly what was present and what everything looked like at the time the van went through and snapped pictures of everything on the street.

Link broken (1)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288334)

Does the second link 404 for anyone else too?

Google notifies cities? I don't believe it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288594)

I live in google town and not once did I hear of notification.

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