Fri, Apr 3rd 2009 6:05am
The British government appears to be on a track to undermine its citizens' privacy by collecting more and more information about their online behavior, but some villagers there recently took a stand against a far more evil menace: Google Street View. As one of the Street View vehicles turned down a street in the village of Broughton, a guy took exception, riled up his neighbors and they mobbed the vehicle (via CNet), forcing it into a hasty retreat. While the government goes on forcing ISPs to retain customer data like email, Street View seems to be attracting much more public ire. The main rabblerouser in this most recent case says he's concerned that Street View is invading his privacy and "facilitating crime" by putting pictures of his and his neighbors' houses online, echoing earlier calls that Google Maps facilitates terrorist attacks. The fact remains that Street View doesn't show a would-be thief anything they couldn't find out by walking or driving down the same road; in fact it seems a little unreasonable to think that any decent criminal would rely solely on reconnaissance from Street View when casing a target. The privacy uproar over Street View in the UK seems a little misplaced when the British government is taking much more invasive, and potentially much more harmful, steps to infringe the privacy of its citizens.
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