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
    Anonymous Coward, 5 May 2011 @ 3:05am

    Re: Dont make sense, you will confuse them

    Dont talk sense Matt, you will only confuse them.

    But of course you are totally correct.

    But it will be beyond most here to understand that difference, the difference between being a willing partcipent or having someone drive down your street in a car with tinted windows sneaking snapshots of you, or your kids, or your visitors, or your car rego.

    And showing off the all the world what kind of lifestyle you live to see if it would be worthwile to rob your place.

    Or to be a target of directed advertising, if someone should think your house needs a new paint job, or its roof fixed, or you simply need to be scammed.

    As well, Google does not do ANYTHING unless they can made money from it, that applies to street view just as much as anything else.

    It's information, and google takes your information and turns it into profit.

    That profit comes from EVERYONE, because you pay more for the products you buy, because those companies PAY Google, and pass that cost onto you. (and me).

    Which really sucks if you do not use or like Goolag, and if you never use any of their products or services.

    (but I still have to pay for them).

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