Press Not Buying Google Street View As A Threat To Children

from the good-for-them dept

A few months back, we pointed out how ridiculous it was that a child advocacy group had put out a scary press release claiming that child predators could use Google Street View to prey on children. They could also, you know, walk up and down the street. It’s nice to see that the mainstream press is at least calling the group, Stop Internet Predators, out on how ridiculous this is. Nationally syndicated columnist Larry Magid sarcastically slams the group for such pointless fearmongering, not only pointing out that it’s easier for predators to just walk up and down the street, but also making the following point:

Instead of banning Google Street View, maybe we should put up walls between streets and sidewalks so that predators can’t see children walking home from school. And while we’re at it, let’s ban public outdoor parks and recreation areas or at least find ways to hide the children playing there. Or just keep children away from churches, schools and other places where pedophiles have been known to operate.

Considering how often we end up seeing the mainstream press simply parrot these sorts of press releases, it’s good to see them hitting back against these more questionable attempts at creating moral panics.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Press Not Buying Google Street View As A Threat To Children”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
33 Comments
Mr Rogers says:

Parents these days

I can’t believe people let their children go outside these days? I can’t believe people even have children, it’s just cruel, they are only going to be molested, murdered and dumped in a ravine somewhere. Real parents should just kill their own offspring humanely right after birth, thus saving them any possibility of encountering anything “bad” in the world. This will also save from a lifetime of slavery paying off the debt from the Bush Administrations historical deficit spending and astonishingly irresponsible governance.

Casper says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Parents these days

It’s funny to see the liberals bring Bush into a conversation about pedophilia…

But, honestly, how exactly is it Bush’s fault that 2 million people were stupid enough to buy houses they would never actually be able to afford?

I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, but I find it very amusing how each side loves to shove negative things happening on the other party (although Democrats have been doing it a lot more lately). If people actually sat down and realized that it was under Clinton that the laws and regulations that caused the housing problems were put into place, and it was many of the equal opportunity lending acts for the disadvantaged that opened the flood gates on the mortgage market, I doubt they would be mouthing off as much as they are. The Bush administration fumbled in not dealing with the problem sooner, but the Clinton’s are the ones that set up the system to fail in the from the start.

At this point I should comment on the article, but I think it speaks for it’s self. Since the vast majority of child victims are relatives/friends of their abusers, this whole subject is absurd. Might as well just take the children into protective care of government robots to make sure they are totally protected from harm.

Thruthseeker says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Parents these days

“I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, but I find it very amusing how each side loves to shove negative things happening on the other party (although Democrats have been doing it a lot more lately). If people actually sat down and realized that it was under Clinton that the laws and regulations that caused the housing problems were put into place, and it was many of the equal opportunity lending acts for the disadvantaged that opened the flood gates on the mortgage market, I doubt they would be mouthing off as much as they are. The Bush administration fumbled in not dealing with the problem sooner, but the Clinton’s are the ones that set up the system to fail in the from the start.”

Sean Hannity is lying to you (really you would think after 8 years of Bush people would know better?), Clinton nor any other politician (including Bush) ever told ANY bank they HAD to loan money to anyone, thats a COMPLETE load of crap. See “a brief history of bad economic policy” in this thread if you want to see a far more accurate assesment of the events.

Anonymous Coward says:

“But, honestly, how exactly is it Bush’s fault that 2 million people were stupid enough to buy houses they would never actually be able to afford?”

Because Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae created a market for the bad loans. None of this would have been possible had the US Government done its job and regulated the banks.

Get off my lawn! says:

I looked up my own house on Street View and didn’t care for the feeling it gave me, to be honest. At least I couldn’t read my license plate.

But in regards to kids, it was deceiving. What I did see on Street View: everyone round here has a back and front yard, driveways, and public parks a few blocks away. What I didn’t see: all their damn kids walking, running, horsing, skating, biking, screeching, playing hockey or shooting hoops in the middle of the fucking street.

Yeah, Google’s the problem.

Sean says:

Creepy

I was a little creeped out when looking at my address. My daughter and her friends are all out playing in the front yard. It was just weird seeing a picture of her completely oblivious of the camera, and that picture is available to anyone with a computer and Internet. My gut feeling was “invasion of privacy.” Though upon further reflection, it just exposes how public our lives really are, and how unprotected our loved ones are. Don’t misunderstand. Do not confuse “unprotected” with “in danger.” My own amateur psychoanalysis tells me this is another example of people trying to control EVERYTHING in their life, and not reacting well when something comes into conflict with that.

Kevin C. says:

I made a grand.

Actually, when Bush got elected for a 2nd term I bet my, very republican, brother $1000.00 that the economy would be in the sh*ter by the time he left office

“If people actually sat down and realized that it was under Clinton that the laws and regulations that caused the housing problems were put into place, and it was many of the equal opportunity lending acts for the disadvantaged that opened the”

I am really not familiar with the ‘equal opp. lending acts’ that you are talking about so I could be WAY off base BUT I find it very hard to believe that these ‘lending acts’ required that banks give money to people that could not afford it. No, actually, I am POSITIVE that legislation was not passed to give money away to people that had no chance of paying it back.

J.Locke says:

a brief history of bad economic policy

“But, honestly, how exactly is it Bush’s fault that 2 million people were stupid enough to buy houses they would never actually be able to afford?”

The Bush Administration flooded a stagnate investment market with capital in the form of large top heavy tax cuts (many experts at the time said this would create a problem as a lack of investment capital was not the economies problem, including his own treasury security [O’Neil] who resigned over it). Since the stock market was stagnate there was nowhere for this money to go but into real estate, thus causing an artificial “bubble” in property value. This combined with an ideological driven insistence on increased deregulation and low interest rates from the fed, created a giant rush to “debt securities” (traffic in these specific securities – the ones that are actually causing our problems today – went from a market of millions in the 90s to hundreds of billions during the Bush years). Combine this with the Bush administration plan to create an “ownership society” (you might remember this as one of his campaign slogans of 2004) by loosening restrictions on Fanny Mae to encourage more risky mortgage creation so that more people could “own” homes and you have the explanation for the mess you see today. I hope this quick version helps you understand, it is important who you vote for, their actions have real consequences.

TruthDivided says:

Re: a brief history of bad economic policy

“I hope this quick version helps you understand, it is important who you vote for, their actions have real consequences.”

Only problem is that with the two major parties, you only end up with two mostly-terrible options to choose from. Its a ‘lesser of two douche-bags’ no matter what you do.

“Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: once again

“Politics just HAS to be injected into any discussion, and it always ends up as a “hate Bush” revel, instead of any rational discussion”

The fact that you are surprised that discussions are turning political during a Presidential election year (and amidst maybe the greatest economic crisis since Caesar stamped himself on a coin), tells me your new to the whole “internet” and “discussion” thing. Also, surprisingly there is some rational discussion in this thread (J.Locke for example). The fact that you didn’t see it, tells me you either didn’t read it (which makes one question why you would comment on the political discussion) or you simply didn’t like it (which alone unfortunately doesn’t actually make it “irrational”).

EconProf says:

Impressed

“The Bush Administration flooded a stagnate investment market with capital in the form of large top heavy tax cuts (many experts at the time said this would create a problem as a lack of investment capital was not the economies problem, including his own treasury security [O’Neil] who resigned over it). Since the stock market was stagnate there was nowhere for this money to go but into real estate, thus causing an artificial “bubble” in property value. This combined with an ideological driven insistence on increased deregulation and low interest rates from the fed, created a giant rush to “debt securities” (traffic in these specific securities – the ones that are actually causing our problems today – went from a market of millions in the 90s to hundreds of billions during the Bush years). Combine this with the Bush administration plan to create an “ownership society” (you might remember this as one of his campaign slogans of 2004) by loosening restrictions on Fanny Mae to encourage more risky mortgage creation so that more people could “own” homes and you have the explanation for the mess you see today. I hope this quick version helps you understand, it is important who you vote for, their actions have real consequences.”

That’s the best analysis of the event leading up to this crisis I have seen anywhere on the internet (or otherwise, excepting academic discussions). Nice one techdirt!

SLR owner says:

Dawn of the Walking Paranoid

This story is an uncomfortable reminder to me of several times in the past few years where I’ve been accused of “invading privacy” by using my camera and including people standing or walking in a public area in a shot (usually in the background). Recently, I was standing on my second floor street-side balcony testing a new lens on my SLR and shooting random pictures of traffic, trees, parked cars, etc. A guy who was visiting the apartment building next door demanded to know if I was taking pictures of his kid, who was apparently seated in the back seat of their car (with smoked windows). When I told him I was too far to even see that there was a kid in the car, he responded that he “had the right to stop me”.

Note that I didn’t have a $15,000 telephoto lens to clearly see the kid from 100 feet away. When I told him that he better worry about the 50 million camera-cell-phone users and 100 million pocket camera owners that are walking down the public sidewalk who COULD take a clear picture of his kid, this went totally over his head.

The terrorism hysteria this country has been suffering from since 9/11 has caused a definite erosion in understanding of basic constitutional rights and a paranoia that has come about in the form of “SLR bashing”. More and more SLR owners are being threatened by people (and cops who don’t know the laws) at public places like museums or parks based upon a misunderstanding of stalking laws and privacy laws. (I’ve been an SLR owner for 40 years, shot in thousands of public venues, and never been acosted until after 9/11.) It now seems that only people who use camera-cell-phones or pocket cameras at museums or parks can do so with impunity. But as soon as an SLR is seen in public, well then…….it just MUST be a child stalker or a terrorist holding it!

It really doesn’t surprise me the same SLR bashing is being used against Google Street View. Maybe Google should remind people about the camera-cell-phone and pocket camera owners that could deftly take pictures without them EVER KNOWING IT…and then sit back and watch these paranoids go after the cell-phone and camera makers. It’d be hilarious!

The way I ended my last confrontation was to call the police (who I’ve used before to diffuse concerns and to reset the brains of the overly paranoid). Seeing as I was standing on my own property and he was standing on the street, he failed to understand that old English law applies: “If you want privacy, stay in your castle!” When one of the cops stepped back and took a picture of his car blocking over 4 feet of my driveway, he went nuts. Almost got arrested! At least he got a parking ticket… Hopefully, that’ll teach him SOMETHING.

LoveMyStreetView says:

Good post, SLR owner. Thing is people can and do upload those cell phone and pocket camera photos to various social networking sites and blogs. Sometimes the pictures are included with email jokes that are forwarded to everyone with email access. Anyone remember the one with the girl whose bust was duct-taped? She continues to live on in infamy, poor girl.

Most people who take issue with Street View seem to get creeped out when they see the image of their OWN homes. But, do those same people think it’s creepy to look at others’ homes, or businesses? Probably not. No one cares about my house as much as I do.

What I find amazing is that out of ALL of the imagery taken in Japan, Australia, Italy, France and the U.S., probably only a few dozen or so were interesting enough to be published on those sites dedicated to showcasing funny Street View images. The picture of the poor guy in Australia who was passed out near his residence is only one of a couple of such pictures taken. Out of all those pictures! Yet people used that one example to scream “invasion of privacy.” When in reality what the vast majority of the pictures show is that most of us lead a mundane existence for most hours of the day.

Sman says:

Not cool

This isn’t an invasion of privacy or anything? You really think it’s ok that there are pictures of where you live, your house that anyone(imagine the possibilities) can look at. You really believe that certain…undesirables can’t use this to say, check out a building/house without having to physically go there and be seen before hand because they can just look your house up on the internet and see all the doors/windows, sides of the yard, possible escape routes, etc… are you getting the picture? Don’t be stupid and think that it won’t happen.

Christopher (profile) says:

Like I keep on saying, pedosexuality is the world’s new boogie man now that heterosexuality outside of marriage and homosexuality are not allowed to be bashed on.

When in the future pedosexuality is accepted, we will see the idiots in power looking for ANOTHER boogie man to snooker society into thinking is a ‘danger’.

By that time, we might have met aliens, so it might be the Vulcans who are stereotyped and maligned.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...