UK Says Street View Is Fine... As Canadian Politicians Get Worried About It

from the is-it-so-hard-to-understand dept

I'm not sure what it is about Google's Street View offering that so freaks people out. It's simply taking photos of public areas, not private properties. Yet, we already saw how folks in the UK freaked out about it, insisting that it must be illegal. Well, the UK's "privacy watchdog" has now announced that Google Street View is perfectly legal, so there's nothing to worry about. The group pointed out that there were significant safeguards in place, and any violation of privacy was minimal. Of course, there are still others who haven't quite realized this yet. Colin writes to alert us that politicians in Alberta, Canada are now the latest to worry about how Street View might violate privacy, with the Privacy Commissioner getting upset that Google had started taking photos in Alberta without first concluding talks with his office to make sure that everything was on the right side of the law.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Stephen Downes (profile), Apr 27th, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    Yeah, well, if I stood on the street outside your house and started taking photos into your livingroom window, you'd freak out too.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    Scared about the wrong thing

    It's funny how the UK citizens are worried about a public photo of their house being posted, but not as worried that their personally owned item rights of music, books, etc are slowly being taken away from them by the copy write police.

     

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  3.  
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    Esahc (profile), Apr 27th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re:

    Can you post a link to said photos? I'd love to see them, because every street view photo I've seen are slightly out of focus and I can't even make out the gender of someone in another car let alone a residential window.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Re:

    "stood on the street outside your house and started taking photos"

    The state takes photos of your house for tax purposes, does that freak you out as well ? It's not like they wear special uniforms or anything, could be a freakin perv or somthin

     

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    TheStupidOne, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Scared about the wrong thing

    or that they are constantly being video recorded ... but you know, that's the government ... we know we can trust them

     

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    Overcast, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    or that they are constantly being video recorded ... but you know, that's the government ... we know we can trust them

    Yep

     

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  7.  
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    Vincent Clement, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    So, it's okay to have a product, like Google Earth or Google Maps, that shows my backyard in clear view. But taking pictures in a public place may not be okay, even if the technology blurs people faces and licence plates?

    Someone should show the Privacy Commissioner the Flickr website.

    Really, thousands of people are losing their jobs and this is what the governments in Canada are worried about?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    The Albertan government are probably just worried that they're not getting any money for this activity... the Canadian mini-States are a bit short on cash at the moment and it wouldn't surprise me to see them try to swing a financial angle onto this issue.

     

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    Cait, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:48pm

    This is just one of those things people get worked up about that I'll never understand, it seems. Taking pictures in public spaces is a logical, sensible right in most places. And, it's just a photo! Where are people seeing the harm? If you're doing something in your home in plain sight of people on the road that you don't want publicized, why are you doing so in plain sight? Do these also see harm in ending up in the background of a tourist photo that ends up on Flikr or Facebook? I just don't get it.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: Scared about the wrong thing

    "but you know, that's the government ... we know we can trust them"
    That's a joke, right?


    The UK is so screwed when it comes to privacy that this doesn't surprise me at all. Granted I wasn't that concerned about StreetView before I heard about the complaints, but I'm almost surprised it isn't UK government policy to put security cameras in household bathrooms "For the children."

     

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  11.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:11am

    Re:

    Oi!! - you two

    Sarcasm was detected in you posts regarding our glorious government ("All hail Gordo - Hail")

    Report now for reconditioning

    The state is good
    The cameras are for your safety
    Protester = rioter

     

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  12.  
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    Michael, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 7:23am

    Its the law.

    In Canada, it is illegal to take my picture and use it for any commercial purpose without consent. That makes street view quasi illegal here. Its pretty simple really.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2009 @ 10:33pm

    @12.Micheal,

    Keep in mind that Street View blurs people's faces. Google isn't using a person's image commercially.

    There's no mentionable loss of privacy to the subject.
    There's no loss of commercial value to the subject.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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