by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
photographs, privacy, royal wedding, street view, uk

bbc, google

Google Street View Is Invasion Of Privacy... But The BBC Showing Everyone At The Royal Wedding?

from the double-standards dept

We've been somewhat mystified about the complaints people have about images of people on Google Street View. Google is now "blurring" people to help deal with the issue, but it seems pretty silly, really. You're out in public. Someone can randomly take your photo. Of course, the backlash against Google Street View has been particularly harsh throughout Europe, where people insist it's a massive affront to their privacy. And yet... Glyn Moody points us to a blog post comparing the reaction to Street View to the reaction to the BBC putting up a high-def image of crowds at the Royal Wedding, and asking people if they can spot themselves.
This raises an interesting question on privacy and balance.

Google decided to blur the faces of ordinary people going about their ordinary activities caught on Street View.

The BBC have decided, where events like the Royal Wedding are concerned, it's fine to have high definition street shots showing the faces of ordinary people in the crowd; not to mention police officers, armed forces and - presumably - under-cover crowd security officers.
It certainly seems like a double standard. Is there something different about this being an "event"? I can't see how that makes much of a difference, really. Is there something about it being a "US" company vs. a UK organization? Or do people just not really think through these things until someone freaks out and screams "privacy violation!"?

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  1. identicon
    Jeremy7600, 4 May 2011 @ 11:34am

    Out in public? Shouldn't the fact that you are "In Public" unequivocally mean that you are not "In private" and there is *absolutely* NO expectation, under any circumstances, that you will be granted some sort of privacy? How do you reconcile the fact that you are IN PUBLIC with some deranged expectation of being IN PRIVATE.

    Logic might help, but probably won't.

    Public =/= Private
    Private =/= Public (listed twice for those that might be confused)
    Being in Public == No privacy (expected, given, or assumed)
    Being in private == Privacy (should be expected, given, and assumed)

    This assume the knowledge that public is any location past your front door, past the "private road" you live or work on, or anything outdoors not surrounded by a fence.

    I'm sure if I've forgotten something, someone will correct me, but hopefully the idea is strong enough to come across.

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