Google's Map Crisis

With mapping technology evolving, eventually we knew problems were going to arise. Google's evolving "Street View" has been implemented in parts of the United States, and so far has received good press. By using this interactive form of Google Maps, it can help people navigate their way around an area before actually going there. Street View is comprised of actual photos pieced together that can provide virtual walkthroughs of streets, hotels, and more. However, the European Union's laws on privacy are hindering Google's plans of implementation.

Peter Hustinx, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor, commented that "making pictures everywhere is certainly going to create some problems."

There are many of us who do not want pictures of our personal details available for the world to see, and Google is now in a predicament to develop automatic face detection and blurring as Google's Street View continues to grow. For Google's Street View to enter the European Union, more privacy safeguards have to come into place.

When technology becomes more "personal", there are always issues that arise. How do you feel about Google's growing use of Street View, and our privacy?

View: TechRadar

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Some of this is to do with something called 'Breach of Confidence' - whilst when I studied U.K. law a few years ago, a case was brought which centered around Naomi Campbell and her attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Just as many people quite rightly don't want their faces, property etc in shiny crappy magazines that build on celebrity culture for people to read and get a kick out of it, it was only a matter of time before it became more broadly applicable to the public.

Yes, you probably don't care about someone photographing your garden, but would you care if it was of you naked lying in your garden sunbathing? These issues are about balancing freedom of expression with a right to privacy, and in my experience you can never generate a rule which fits every circumstance. Instead, they have to be judged on a case by case basis and this is something that will never be achievable given the wealth of user-created content. Given that, I think Google will definately have to change some features unless it wants to become paralysed by lawsuits, some frivolous, and some with a genuine base for compensation.

Can anyone actually demonstrate lawsuits that have taken place where someone sued because another person took a picture of their property?

For personal security, i'd rather see Google make 3drenders of a place then take actual photos with the "general public" in them. You know soon your going to be able to go on holiday all from the comfort of your armchair.

Absolutely amazing how much people will give up because they think it doesn affect them. What if criminals started using this technology to verify where someone lives? If they were looking for a specific person and that person happened to be doing yard work when the googlers drove by and the criminal then exploited that how would you feel then?

It's an amazing technology that is the future of maps, how good is virtually touring the city before you have to do it for real? Very good that's how good!
As for how much private data is being captured by a single photo.... well that can't be much, i say the European union put it to the vote, logistically this could never happen but i bet the outcome would be in favour of Google, hell i'd even submit my own photos of my street (I live in London so have Zero privacy anyway)

Crisis? Don't release it in Europe, problem solved. The images Google uses for street view are nothing any citizen couldn't take and upload perfectly legally, and what's more Google isn't charging a dime or shoving a single piece of advertisement on us for viewing them. What's more, they're very compliant when asked to remove or censor portions of images.

It's on the internet, you genius. How do you not release the internet in Europe? Create a Europe-only Internet? I don't think so.

(Airlink said @ #8.1)
It's on the internet, you genius. How do you not release the internet in Europe? Create a Europe-only Internet? I don't think so.

Maybe you should read the article "genius", its talking about adding European cities,

The images Google uses for street view are nothing any citizen couldn't take and upload perfectly legally,

That's exactly the point. It isn't legal.

To me it's an odd law.. I mean if you drove there, you could see it anyway and even take pics..so whats the harm of putting it on the internet? To me it's all progression and I kind of like typing in my post code and it comes up with my block of flats. So... what if other people in my block didn't like the idea of their flat on it, would Google block the flat or the entire block? And then that person moves out and the new guy wonders why his flat is blurred... It's going to get messy if thats the case.

Ok so what if I had a garden, would people really be interested in its contents?? I doubt it! (unless I had a missile silo or two). If you believe people are scanning the earth for your precious garden gnomes, you worry about very petty things or are quite paranoid!

Aug! You planted garden! I have to sue you now for violating my privacy rights. All those plants, constantly looking at my house! Aeeeiiii!

Huh? The EU has a problem with it? What did Microsoft do now?


"How do you feel about Google's growing use of Street View, and our privacy?"
Google's stand on privacy is insulting. Their motto of "do no evil" is so hypocritical it's not even funny anymore. However, if one chooses to use their services then they choose to give up that privacy so it's really up to an individual if they want their privacy respected or not. If you do, steer clear of Google.

(C_Guy said @ #6)
Huh? The EU has a problem with it? What did Microsoft do now?


"How do you feel about Google's growing use of Street View, and our privacy?"
Google's stand on privacy is insulting. Their motto of "do no evil" is so hypocritical it's not even funny anymore. However, if one chooses to use their services then they choose to give up that privacy so it's really up to an individual if they want their privacy respected or not. If you do, steer clear of Google.


Are google's privacy policies any different or worse than that of Microsoft's or Yahoo's? What "evil" have they actually done to be hypocritical.

I'm not disagreeing, I'm genuinely asking.

hahaha that girl know that car is google camera so she trying to flash her boobs. but somehow google remove one of show boobs

Google can take all the pictures they want of me. The only reason I can think of why someone wouldn't want a photo is if they're embarrassed, coming out of a sex shop or somthing similar.

I don't particularly see the problem with this. If you go on Flickr and google your home town or city, you get hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs from all sorts of people (tourists, being one example), a lot of which are filled with other people. You might even be one of them. It's never been a problem before, but because google is such a big company, people have only just taken notice of it.

That, plus it's all public property anyway. Google takes these pictures from a special car fitted with lots of digital cameras, so there's nothing they're seeing that any average Joe on the streets couldn't see.

That, plus it's all public property anyway.

Even if it's of someone's garden and not just on a street? These photos also use to capture such views every now and then.

I'm not being a jerk, I honestly don't know about EU laws on that topic.

(Jugalator said @ #3.2)

Even if it's of someone's garden and not just on a street? These photos also use to capture such views every now and then.

I'm not being a jerk, I honestly don't know about EU laws on that topic.

Well that's what I mean, it's all taken from a car driving down the street, so if someone's annoyed about people being able to see into their garden, they should have a fence or a hedge up or something....

Well my neighbor is in a picture on my street. It is very blurry though so no harm really done. I've seen quite a few license plates in photos, none decipherable, so I think all in all they've done a pretty good job.

(M2Ys4U said @ #1)
The pictures are taken in public... I don't see where the need for privacy comes in?

In many countries in EU taking pictures of your house or property, whether you're on it or not when you take the shot or include people in the photography, is illegal without explicit permission from the landowner.

On that note I wholly and completely agree with such laws.

Google Street View would be illegal in my country because you need explicit consent of the individual to record/photograph him/her, with some exceptions, which Google Street View doesn't cover.