Friday, April 3, 2009

Why No Pitchforks? Villagers Stop Google From Filming Their Homes

Shut your blinds! Close your doors! Look what Google is up to now. It is taking photos of everybody’s home!

Apparently, not everyone is happy about it. According to Agence Presse France, angry residents of a Buckinghamshire village blocked the driver of a Google Street View car today who was filming the neighbourhood, saying they feared he would encourage burglaries, a report said Friday.

One resident, Paul Jacobs, told the BBC that he had alerted his neighbours after spotting the car from his window in Broughton in southern England on Wednesday.

"I don't have a problem with Google wanting to promote villages. What I have a problem with is the invasion of privacy, taking pictures directly into the home," Jacobs said. "We've already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it's an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police."

After his call, a police car arrived in Broughton to reports of a dispute between a crowd of people and a Google Street View contractor.

The Google Street View project set up last month in Britain aims to provide detailed 360-degree views online of streets all over the country.

The project has already been strongly criticised by associations like Privacy International, a pressure group which has launched legal action against the Google.

I agree with the villagers. We have precious little privacy as it is anymore – and it is even worse in Britain where it seems every nook of every street is constantly watched by cameras. If Google shows up on my street, they will find me in front of my house holding a large sign “Indict Bush!” That should put a damper on their filming.

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