Bring on the Apple and Google spy planes

Summary:I find it hard to remember life before Google Maps. I want to see the service move forward, not back, Senator Schumer.

Ars Technica is reporting that Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who happens to be my senator, is speaking out against Google and Apple for being too good at making maps.

The problem, as the good senator sees it, is that Apple and Google's mapping planes are "military-grade spy planes with enough precision to see through windows, catch detailed images of private backyard activities, and record images as small as four inches."

He is not celebrating this amazing technological achievement. He is proposing to regulate it:

In a letter to the companies, Schumer called for Apple and Google to put measures in place that require prior notification of mapping, blurs photos of individuals, gives property owners the ability to opt out from mapping of their homes, and that requires coordination with law enforcement to blur our sensitive infrastructure details.

This is typical of the craziness that occurs when senators meet technology. If Google and Apple have to do all this stuff, it will just be a huge expense that will make our free maps worse. I don't even have a back yard, no less do anything in it I'd be embarrassed to have photographed. But for those who do, be advised: the world is changing and you can now be seen from the sky. No amount of letter writing will change that reality, so adjust to it.

I love Google Maps and use the service multiple times a day. It looks like Apple is going to do something equally amazing. So let it happen. I find it hard to remember life before Google Maps. I want to see the service move forward, not back, Senator Schumer.

Topics: Apple, Google


Steven Shaw used to be a litigation attorney at Cravath, Swaine &gMoore, a New York law firm, and is now the online community managergfor and the Director of New Media Studies at thegInternational Culinary Center.

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