Google Maps and smug shots

Driving offence - long shot.jpgDid you catch the Google guys defending Street View last weekend? What a smug bunch they are: Invasion of privacy? What invasion of privacy?

Google seems to think that because it has a complaints button almost hidden on the image, then it absolves itself of blame. What were you doing when the Google car passed you six months ago? Where were you? What are the chances of finding yourself on Street View before someone else does? Do people without Internet access have no rights?

“But we mask the faces,” says Google. Not good enough, Google. I can recognise people on the screens from the clothes they wear. “We mask number plates,” the company claims. In a lot of cases that’s true but I know of five number plates on my neighbours cars that are unmasked and quite readable. Do they know about it?

“We don’t show anything that you can’t see from the street anyway” is probably the biggest lie. The camera is nine or ten feet from road level which means that it peeks over fences. Anyone with expensive statues in their gardens should immediately plant a row of Leylandii to shut out the Google snoopers. If I stuck a camera over my neighbours’ fences, I hate to think what would happen to me.

Number plate over fence.jpg

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