Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why Google Streetview needs to go

Many of you may not be aware but 'Google' has gone platinum with the launch of a new feature, 'Google steetview'. If you are unfamiliar with the other google add-ons, simply put it gives users on the internet a 3D view of any street in the UK. Not only are the pictures very detailed and I can see it's constructive usage, however placed in the wrong hands, can prove decisive, as if word in the local barber shops is anything to go by.

Only this week a group of residents in West London, stopped a google van from taking pictures, high-lightening the fact that there have been a number of burglaries in recent months, since the introduction of the new fad. It's all well and good if you are seeking a property and want to gather what the area is like. I can also see the need for emergency services who can tie this in with other applications to forge a first class ambulance and fire systems. However with most things in the UK, sinister forces will come to the fore and already we are seeing groups of local Fagan's who specialise in area codes, promising riches beyond your dreams, accompanied with photo images at the drop of a hat.

What I detest more about Google streeview is the detailed images they protray especially if you have a good broadband connection and graphics card. I am more than inclined on a hot day in February to lounge around the house 'forgetting' my bath or house robe (see article about being 40+) I've even been known to wander to the back door starkers in all my glory and take in the sunlight, while enjoying my first smoke of the day. Now what would happen if someone had entered the details of the road I live in and accidentally zoomed in on a middle aged man unaware he is a laughing stock somewhere in Lahore, Pakistan. Surely this is an invasion of privacy in the highest form and what are google to launch next: online toilet or bedroom cams? Now that's an idea... "Honey......"

On a serious note we all need to be aware of our activities in the public eye, before we become a startled participant on TV shows, like "Caught on Camera" and "3rd Eye". I can see SKY ONE making a show called "Caught on the Net" or "Google Trapped". For those of you having to make a living that involves street activities, be careful out there - as certain people of a specific skin colouration have been known to spend years incarcerated due to incriminating evidence. With 'Streetview operating 24 hours a day, it will be very difficult to bribe the jury or CID officer and claim you were at the gym pumping iron.


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