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
    Anonymous Blogger, 21 Jun 2009 @ 8:11pm

    Well...

    I don't get it. How is taking a photo in public violating peoples privacy? You have no privacy when you're out in public.

    How is this any different than a tourist taking photos in public of monuments and peoples faces in them, then putting the photos on Flickr? What's the difference?

    I'm tired of everyone trying to be politically correct. Street View is the equivalent of a tourist taking photos on the street.

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