Blurred German Houses Get Egged By Google Street View Fans

from the your-house-is-not-blurred-in-real-life dept

We found it to be somewhat silly that various folks in Germany could have Google blur the image of their house, as some sort of misguided privacy notion. As if to highlight the fact that if your house is blurred that it's not as if people can't see it in real life, it appears some overzealous Google fans have started throwing eggs at houses that chose to be blurred. As if the message wasn't clear enough, the houses that were egged also had notices taped to their mailboxes stating "Google's cool." That all seems a bit extreme (Google, rightly, is stating that this is not "acceptable behavior"). While I agree with Google that this is really childish behavior, there is a bit of a typical Streisand Effect to all of this. In trying to block the images of their homes, they have only served to call that much more attention to their homes.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Bad Eggs.

    What really pissed me off was the BBC spinning it as "anti-privacy vandals". It's not a privacy issue to take a picture of the front of your house that can be seen by anyone else on that street.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    The picture on that news article is hilarious... The house is on a corner, backing almost straight on to what appears to be a public road.

    While the reaction from these (presumably) kids is stupid, what can the owners of that house possibly hide by blocking that photo, that cannot be clearly seen by somebody walking or driving past? I still cannot understand why a non-live picture of something clearly visible from the public street can be regarded as a privacy violation.

     

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    Dcl, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Blur the news?

    Assuming either pictures of video was taken of the scandal did the news org have to blur the images they took?

     

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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    And this is why Google Streetview is so dangerous

    ;-) just kidding of course

     

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  5.  
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    Megore, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Blur the news?

    Thats a good point and they probably did which will be hilarious.

     

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  6.  
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    Megore, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Blur the news?

    Thats a good point and they probably did which will be hilarious.

     

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  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    You are clearly amused and think it's deserved.

    "this is why Google Streetview is so dangerous" -- I'M NOT KIDDING.

    This wouldn't exist without the *new* technological means willfully employed by Google (paid for by whom? and for what purpose?), which focuses attention on those who want only to be unremarkable, and WERE until this sheerly engineered invasion of privacy.

    It's only when *you're* affected that you complain about ordinary liberties being infringed, as with the TSA. When anyone's liberty is infringed, everyone's is.

    @Trigger: "anti-privacy vandals" are obviously pro-Google, it's their corporate mission.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    It seems like a more fitting way to "get back" at people who have their houses blurred would be to perform your own photo/video surveillance of those houses (legally, from the public streets) and most those photos/videos to the internet.

     

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  9.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    I would like an explanation on why this is an invasion of privacy. Please, someone explain it, no one has yet.

     

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  10.  
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    DS, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    It's no more of a privacy issue than driving down the road looking to either side.

    Doubly so if you consider the images are not real time, and in many cases, years old.

     

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  11.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    so, you know, being able to see a picture of a place you'd be able to take a picture of yourself is different because it's google why exactly?

     

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  12.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    "This wouldn't exist without the *new* technological means willfully employed by Google"

    Er, technically, this wouldn't have existed w/o Google employing the blurring out technology requested by the homeowners. So...homeowners request blur, Google complies, kids egg blurred houses...and you blame Google?

    ....Why?

    "(paid for by whom? and for what purpose?)"

    Uh, Google I guess? Or do you have different information?

    "It's only when *you're* affected that you complain about ordinary liberties being infringed, as with the TSA. When anyone's liberty is infringed, everyone's is."

    What privacy right was infringed upon in this instance? I'm not a pure fan of Google (mostly because I worry about their involvement w/certain international globalist groups, like the CoFR), but I don't get the complaint about street view....

     

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  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Jon Noowtun, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    As if to highlight the fact that if your house is blurred that it's not as if people can't see it in real life, it appears some overzealous Google fans have started throwing eggs at houses that chose to be blurred. As if the message wasn't clear enough, the houses that were egged also had notices taped to their mailboxes stating "Google's cool."


    They were obviously paid Gargle shills!!!!! This would never have happened, if Gobble's Sneak View project was strictly opt-in, like any intelligent person knows it should be. So few people would have opted in that Gobble would have just given up in Germany and there wouldn't be any blurred houses to egg!!!!! Goople is EVIL!!!!!

    www.Pee2PeeNet.net

     

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  14.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    Fly away troll, fly away!

     

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  15.  
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    Claudia, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    It's not really about privacy

    To those wondering why people who requested homes blurred in Germany think showing their property is an invasion - I don't think it's as much about privacy as it is anti-Google and not wanting their property to contribute to the profits of Google, or - and many blog posts deny this, but I'm not fully convinced - anti-American-corporation.

    I've been following some blogs where Germans have weighed in on the subject, and it really seems to be more about socking it to Google. I'm a diehard SV fan myself and appreciate the Street View service but I also respect the wishes of people who want their homes blurred, for whatever reason. My only issue is with the large apartment complexes in downtown areas, especially those that seem to be part of largely commercial buildings.

     

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  16.  
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    johnny canada, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    If we refuse to be x-rayed by the TSA do we to get egged too

     

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  17.  
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    Hotblack, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Datenschutz

    some people want Google blurring their house on street view in order to keep control over their privacy and data, while seemingly have no problem, to archive this goal, being interviewed & pictured with their full names in front of said house and appearing online on a respectable german news-site.
    for everyone to see.
    quite funny, if you ask me.

    http://www.rp-online.de/duesseldorf/duesseldorf-stadt/nachrichten/Buergerprotest-gegen-Google _aid_892897.html

     

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  18.  
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    darryl, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:24pm You are clearly amused and think it's deserved.

    "this is why Google Streetview is so dangerous" -- I'M NOT KIDDING.

    This wouldn't exist without the *new* technological means willfully employed by Google (paid for by whom? and for what purpose?), which focuses attention on those who want only to be unremarkable, and WERE until this sheerly engineered invasion of privacy.

    It's only when *you're* affected that you complain about ordinary liberties being infringed, as with the TSA. When anyone's liberty is infringed, everyone's is.

    @Trigger: "anti-privacy vandals" are obviously pro-Google, it's their corporate mission.

    **********

    Great work, yes, if you do not submit you are the 'enemy', 'if you are not with us, you are against us'.

    This is really going to help google's image, to no end, if you dont want you're privacy violated, TOO FREAKING BAD sucker !!!..

    This is the type of thing that would ensure Governments put a stop to things like street view, it is a violation of your privacy rights. and opting out does not work..

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:15pm

    Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    houses have rights now?

    maybe germany is just weird like that

     

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  20.  
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    DMNTD, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:15pm

    I think it comes down to scale...

    It seems if its not against the law its OK..and that is not a good way to live and leave a future for anyone to come. I just plain don't like it. I am not going to use any "laws" but the reasoning that I see is with the scale of the project.

    Its monumental and it involves an object that a lot of people have come to believe is theirs and if given a choice would do something about it. I don't see this as hard to grasp in a intellectual manner. Also I don't see how you understanding a choice someone makes is a chance to belittle them. Privacy is a moral stand point based upon strong opinion and cannot truly be defined in any one way.

    It comes down to the choices we make really, times are always changing and this obviously puts people on edge when a huge corp decides they are going to unload cars everywhere and picture everything. I can see it..can you tell me when you liked something you believed is yours surveyed? yes yes it can be done and already has to be sure, but this is more public and that knowledge is ignored by a lot of people that don't think outside the box and just want to work and sleep. Takes time to get over the desensitization and I honestly still see it as a useless idea and concept. end.

     

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  21.  
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    Adrian Rodrigeuz, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:05am

    Bringing the public back

    I live in Germany and I don't know if this has been mentioned before on Techdirt, but you should check it out http://streetview.mixxt.de/

    Basically what they are trying to do is to take pictures from the houses that have been blurred in Street View and upload them to Panoramio, then, Google Maps and Google Earth can show these pictures in their corresponding viewers...

    I think that's a pretty cool idea, since it proves that the removed information belongs to the public and shouldn't had been blurred in the first place.

     

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  22.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:47am

    Re: I think it comes down to scale...

    It still comes down to this question: whatever the purpose, how can taking a one-off photograph of something visible from the public street be considered an invasion of piracy?

    Once somebody can actually explain that to me, then we can talk about implications of the future. Until then, this is no different from any photography of public places that have been published since the advent of the camera, IMHO.

     

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  23.  
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    Rekrul, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:57am

    Re: I think it comes down to scale...

    It seems if its not against the law its OK..and that is not a good way to live and leave a future for anyone to come.

    So instead of a world where the laws tell us what we can't do, you want a world where the law tells us what we're allowed to do? Where everything you do has to be specifically allowed by law, or it's illegal?

    Its monumental and it involves an object that a lot of people have come to believe is theirs and if given a choice would do something about it. I don't see this as hard to grasp in a intellectual manner. Also I don't see how you understanding a choice someone makes is a chance to belittle them. Privacy is a moral stand point based upon strong opinion and cannot truly be defined in any one way.

    Because the view of your house from the street isn't private. Depending on how busy your street is, dozens or even hundreds of people a day see your house. Not to mention that the owner's name isn't attached to the images, so for 99.99% of the people who will see the photos, it's just an anonymous house.

    Takes time to get over the desensitization and I honestly still see it as a useless idea and concept.

    You mean like streaming music and video? We've had radio and TV for years, delivering music and TV shows into our homes. Does anyone really NEED to be able to stream it over the internet? Or what about portable music and video players like the iPod? Is it really such a hardship to be without your own personal music and video library for the time that you're away from home? For that matter, does the average person really need the internet? I mean, sure it's convenient for a lot of things, but the general public got along just fine before AOL came along.

     

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  24.  
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    okwhen (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:44pm

    Without privacy what do we have?

    From the responses, many people believe anything in plain site from public access is not private. Does this include the air space above the object. With advancement in technology today anyone is able to purchase listing devices by simply directing a laser on any window. Cameras mounted on very small devices are capable of flying outside your house without detection and record everything.

    Young people of today have all the answers and information at their finger tips and yet they decide future laws by their emotions rather than reasoning. If these devices were applied to them directly they would be the first to scream privacy violations. People that believe anything in plain site dissolves privacy then they had better rethink what plain site means in today technological environment.

     

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  25.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 1:55am

    Re: Re: So your message is: CONFORM or be egged?

    No, it's just Darryl.

     

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  26.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Google blurring reaction

    Blurring houses makes more sense than idiotically bashing TSA (and police activities in general).
    But, yes, people who want PUBLIC images blurred need professional help.

     

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  27.  
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    Headbanger, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    "Get back?" How dare they try to get privacy!

     

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  28.  
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    Headbanger, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    Just your junk.

     

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  29.  
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    BBT, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    "Google's Cool"? Really? Lame. These guys should have taken a polaroid of the house and left that there instead. Perhaps with a "OMG ITS NOT BLURRED WTF GOOGLE" kind of message.

     

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  30.  
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    Jason George (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Publicity

    Most business' would beg for this type of exposure, especially on there website. Either way its a great story about turning clients into advocates; although I don't condone that type of behavior, it does show how well Google's permission marketing concept is a winner

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re: Bad Eggs.

    But I can only think in terms of those black and white absolutes :( Shades of grey are too confusing

     

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  32.  
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    okwhen (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Google blurring reaction

    Gene Cavanaugh if you actually believe teaching our children that it is alright for adults to fondle their genitalia then you may have forgotten what our country stands for. The radiation is identified as harmful to humans especially to their reproductive organs. With that said the only other option is hand searching and this involves adults groping their genitalia. If this is the only option to safety then what made our country great is dead.

     

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  33.  
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    BrainTurnedOff, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    Out of the holes

    At least these blurred houses made it out of the black holes...

    http://brainturnedoff.com/blog/blurred-houses-on-youtube/

     

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


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