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Doug's Mailbag: Someone's Watching You

Here's a batch of reader responses to Google's StreetView:

NO! I'm not a fan of StreetView, and I take issue with the following statement from you:

"...the service where Google vans photograph the outside of our domiciles (they would surely go inside if they could)"

In my case, they effectively did!

My front window is only a few feet from the street, so the interior of my lounge is on view to all. Google's cameras looked into my house as they passed. I consider this to intrude on my privacy. Why should it be up to me to draw the curtains if I don't wish for some to photograph the interior of my house?

Pertaining to your comments about StreetView, personally, I think you're being an idiot.

As you cite no basis for your initial statement, I'll take it as a typical "everyone must think like me" argument. In the United States, anyone, whether or not they work for Google, has a right to make photographs or videos from public property.

So you're worried that Google is going to photograph the inside of your house too?

Maybe you're worried that the next step is thermal imagery (from the street, where it's legal to do so) is going to reveal secrets about the goings on inside your domain? Or that cameras in space are going to show off your back yard (whups, they already do... Google Earth, right?)

The fact is that this simple technology already exists to allow outsiders to observe what is going on inside your home (i.e., they can look through windows).

If you have something to hide, then this might be something to worry about. I suggest wrapping your house in tinfoil.

Unless you are paranoid or have something to hide there is nothing wrong with StreetView.

I like StreetView. I am a tech guy and a privacy guy, and I don't have a problem with it. There is nothing that can be seen from the outside of my house that I am worried about anyone seeing. After all, my neighbors and anyone that walks or drives down the street can see it. It's also nice to see a real picture of a place you are planning to drive to so you know what you're looking for when driving down the street. Try taking a virtual walk around the Coliseum in Rome and tell me that isn't pretty cool that you can.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 12/09/2010 at 1:18 PM


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