Google's Street View Captures Drunken Moment

A man who fell asleep in a drunken stupor on the grass outside his home was horrified to find his embarrassment posted on the internet. He had been drowning his sorrows over the death of a friend and collapsed after climbing out of a taxi. As he slept off his excesses, a car-mounted video camera passed by to record pictures of the street for Google's StreetView website. Within days a photographic record of the neighbourhood and its unusual presence was available for worldwide viewing.

The new Google service has been at the centre of controversy over claims it represents a breach of privacy. But the latest victim, who gave his name only as 'Bill', is not planning an official complaint. "I'm no too happy about it," said Bill. "I mean, I wouldn't have been there in the state that I was in, but I wasn't really thinking there would be someone driving by with a video camera on the roof filming me, either," Bill, 36, said from northern Australia, where he is working with a fishing company. "What do you do when you lose a mate like that?" he said of his pal, with whom he had been planning a motorbike holiday around the island of Tasmania. "I know what he would have done if I left - he would have partied, too. That's what I would've wanted him to do so that's what I did with some friends."

Bill said he accepted he could not expect to have complete privacy in a public street, but he questioned whether his embarrassing moment should be broadcast over the internet. Street View was launched in Australia last week and since then there have been a number of complaints about what has been captured on the video camera. One woman who wrote to a Sydney newspaper said she was mortified after logging onto the site.

"Both my parents were pictured outside their house, but my dad passed away a month ago," said Janice Creenaune. "While recognising that Google-time is never real-time, the image renews the raw loss," she said.

Another letter writer, Elizabeth Maher was, however, delighted.

"While others may have legitimate complaints about Google publishing pictures of their house, I was delighted to view ours, with me pictured hard at work in the garden, complete with broom and bucket, thereby dispelling any uncertainty as to who is the gardener in the family."

A spokesman for Google Australia, Mr Rob Shilkin, said the company had taken significant steps to protect the privacy of individuals, including face-blurring and tools for people to flag sensitive imagery for removal.

Since Bill's case became known to Google Australia, his embarrassing sleep-in has been removed from the site.

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Google. Privacy invasion at it's finest

I'd love to know how they consider this an "enhancement" to anyone's "web surfing experience".

(_dandy_ said @ #1)
Exactly what sort of privacy can one expect when getting drunk and passing out on your front lawn?

Well if the picture below is anything to go by, it wasn't even a front lawn. It was in the street. His lower legs and feet were actually dangling into the road!

(TCLN Ryster said @ #6.1)

Well if the picture below is anything to go by, it wasn't even a front lawn. It was in the street. His lower legs and feet were actually dangling into the road!

Even worse. Public drunkenness.

Ha! Thanks for the pic. Yeah, being drunk in public is being drunk in public. Since when is the side of the road a private place?

So, people do dumb things in public and then complain when the public see it?!

If this is a problem for you, you need to learn not to do dumb things in public. For this case in question, well, Im sorry for his loss but I personally wouldn't get like that because since getting past my teens I'm not keen on getting drunk enough to completely lose control. Im an adult now and if something happens to me there are real consequences, not just for me but for my family and loved ones. Hopefully seeing himself like this made him think to look to friends and family or even professional counseling for help rather than turning to the bottle.

(Smethead said @ #4)
That picture looks fake

you being serious??, its people like you posting that that make more people think that, im assuming you have never looked at google street view. everything looks like this its a 2d picture not a 3d holographic 56th century model

It's funny that people make such a big deal out of things like this thus bringing attention to themselves when the general public wouldn't have even noticed. If they wanted nobody to know they should just email Google and that would be the end of it!

I know it's here somewhere, but where is the 'news' in this article? Is it that a man, who none of us knew, fell asleep after getting drunk over the loss of a friend who, again, none of us knew, got put on Google map and then taken off said map again? Surely it must be something more significant than that? Mustn't it?

(SniperX said @ #1)
I know it's here somewhere, but where is the 'news' in this article? Is it that a man, who none of us knew, fell asleep after getting drunk over the loss of a friend who, again, none of us knew, got put on Google map and then taken off said map again? Surely it must be something more significant than that? Mustn't it?

QFT seriously I'm sure there are more important things to report than this..