As Google Agrees To Delete Unblurred Street View Images In Germany, One Is Used To Solve A Crime

from the well-how-about-that dept

Earlier this week, Google agreed to delete unblurred images in its Street View database. If you don't know, Google Street View involves cars driving around photographing everything, so they can be placed on Google Maps. It's quite useful. However, some folks (and politicians) have been up in arms about the supposed privacy violation of photographing people walking in public (no, I don't get it, either). To deal with this, Google has been blurring faces of people. However, it usually keeps the unblurred versions in a database for future use (and for better training of its blurring mechanism).

However, just as the company agreed to delete the unblurred photos in its German database, over in the UK, such photos may be useful in helping to solve a mugging. The victim of the mugging (amazingly) noticed that one of the Street View photos was taken right before the mugging happened. It involved two guys who stole his bike, and the photo shows the two guys walking right behind the kid. He alerted the police, who got the unblurred image from Google and were able to track down the accused muggers. Of course, it's not clear if they'll actually be convicted or if there's really enough evidence. In the meantime, though, if you're thinking of mugging someone, maybe take a look around to see if there's a Google car driving along side you first.

Filed Under: crime, germany, google maps, mugging, street view, uk
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    WiFi War Driver Coward, 20 Jun 2009 @ 9:47pm

    List, and Notify the ones who got looked at

    Having just watched a TV program called "CCTV Cities" it would seem that UK residents have accepted that their public places can be under constant, real time surveillance. A once in 5 years updated freeze frame on Google Maps pails into insignificance.

    If you really believe crooks will stalk and plot against you anonymously from a few street pic from two summers ago, you should have the right to know the frequency and IP addresses from which your home was viewed. These would be a matter of record on Google's servers. Hey google, get people to register for the service.

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