Bring on the Apple and Google spy planes

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.

TOPICS: Apple, Google

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

About Steven Shaw

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.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Maybe

    the world is changing for those with backyards because those without backyards make the decisions on what they should put up with. It is perfectly legit to protect your privacy, and not only after it has already been compromised. You can give yours up all you want, but don't expect me to support you in forcing me to give up mine.
  • what craziness?

    I agree the politicians speaking about the tech tend to say silly things, but whats in the quoted text, if correct, is not a single bit crazy. It is a completely sane and rational approach. Yes one should have the right NOT to have his private property pictured in detail for the public. What is wrong with that?
  • i see

    didnt you already write a crazy article saying why it should be ok to just let a corporation have all your information just to advance the industry before in the past? I'll to look at archives

    Hmph, according to your Bio, I see you are the 'Director of New Media Studies at the International Culinary Center'. I hope google reads the data you have stored on their servers (assuming you use Google apps) for your future business plans, takes the idea, and then capitalizes off it before you do. lol.
  • Street View

    Hey you stop that don't you know I can see you?
  • I agree with Senator Schumer

    I like my privacy. Maybe Steven Shaw is a creep and likes creepin' on people. I'm not and I don't.

    Don't creep on me bro!
  • Did he really say?

    "...and record images as small as four inches.???

    Now that may embarrass some of the boys.
    A Grain of Salt
  • Of course Mr. Shaw would endorse this...

    As a former litigation attorney, he must be salivating at the prospects of reanimating his former career path. It is already a problem with intel and other government agencies being able to probe into the private affairs of citizens, but having Google and Apple being able to do is an even worse scenario. Of course, it could be the case that the said government agencies may be "outsourcing" such activities. Mr. Shaw - solely going by his piece - seems to be a closet totalitarian.