Google's mobile Street View: Definitely creepy

Google's mobile Street View: Definitely creepy

Summary: Google is out with its Street View for the Blackberry and I'm a bit of a Luddite.Unlike my pal Sam, who thinks the fact Google puts his house online is wonderful, I'm not to hip to having the search giant show my house.

TOPICS: Browser, Google, Mobility

Google is out with its Street View for the Blackberry and I'm a bit of a Luddite.

Unlike my pal Sam, who thinks the fact Google puts his house online is wonderful, I'm not to hip to having the search giant show my house. I live in Pennsylvania so I doubt Google is all that interested in my neck of the woods and I'm in no rush to invite the search giant over (Techmeme).

Sam writes:

My house is already there for anyone to see, whether it’s seen from a plane or from a car that drives by in the middle of the night. So what if you saw it on the Internet.

Well that's just swell for Sam. I'm truly happy for him. My problem: I can't opt out. I can't make my house fuzzy online. I can't put up a no trespassing sign. If I threw rocks at the Google video car I'd get arrested. So what can I do? Not a damn thing. And that's what's annoying. I don't even know why Street View creeps me out, but I do know I'm not thrilled about it. And I'm really not thrilled about the mobile version. Perhaps my Street View phobia is only part of the equation.

Here are the other parts of the equation:

  • Google is watching us from the sky.
  • Google knows our Web habits better than we do.
  • Google isn't evil, but it does own the ad market in many respects. Yes, I know Google cares about me and is just being helpful with these targeted ads aimed at 200 pound guys who are borderline Libertarian and has two screws in his knee but still.

So maybe I'm a little nutty about Street View, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I'm cloaking my house as we speak. I'd disappear from the Internet and go off grid too, but I kinda need this stuff to earn a living.

Topics: Browser, Google, Mobility

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  • I don't get it

    I'm not much of a fan of Google amassing all this data
    either but try as I may I can't find any reason for
    disliking the street view. Do you have a particular
    • Why not?

      Other than the fact that it invades our privacy big time by allowing everybody in the world to see the place where you live and what your house looks like, it's also much easier for thiefs, stalkers, spies, detectives or some bad guys who want to do anything maliciously to do research on our landscapes.
      • It's pretty easy

        for the bad guys to research our landscaping anyway. A drive around the block, a walk past the yard, high-res night-vision photos from a block away, whatever.

        Privacy is dead. Long live the Internet.

        Can't wait to try this out on my BlackBerry.

        Chris Dawson
        • Street View

          This also presumes that Google's contractors have actually been down your street to do their photos. I tried viewing my old house in Kansas City, but they haven't been through my old neighborhood yet. In fact, the closest they've been in that area is about three miles away.

          Even so, their address matrix isn't quite right. They [b]have[/b] "Street Viewed" where I live now, but their address for it is off by a couple of numbers.

          If their accuracy is similar in other cities, then it's not that big a worry.
          M.R. Kennedy
        • You gave up your privacy long before Google came along.

          Back in the early 1990's I did some research on just how much information people gave out. You would be amazed the amount of information you can gather (and how accurate the profile is) based upon the 3 credit agencies that you use to check your credit scores. Here is a hint, from the old days: look up Robert John Bardo (stalker who killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989) and the amount of data that stalker had collected on the woman from credit records, news media, etc. Get over it!
      • research on landscapes?

        My house is on street view and aside from the fact that the address is not exact I really don't see the casing/stalking value of a simple, low rez frontal view. You can't even tell if I have put vinyl siding on.

        As far as casing the joint I think you need to be looking at satellite view. I can see crooks looking for a wooded route to your back door.

        I see this as an invasion of privacy only if you can show me some credible threat. Simply 'seeing' my front door as it looked a a day in 2007 sometime is not necessarily an invasion of anything. It COULD be, maybe, but show me how. This is why I am asking the question.
  • Run, Hide, Nevermind, they will find you eventually...

    Google is actually a branch of the FBI. They are
    secretly gathering information (in plain view ;)) of
    everyone's home so they can eventually take over the
    world one home at a time.

    Relax brother, wait until you can get a live 3D view
    of your home and peek in the windows to see that your
    wife is really just doing the dishes and not the
    Junkyard Dog 911
  • Next up: Google Thought Reader

    yeah, the Thought Police is coming for you..
    Your brain has been indexed.