New Google Street Scenes - Serious Privacy Problems

May 31, 2007
Nicole A. Ozer

Page Media

ACLU of Northern CA

Google's new Street View service, which allows users of Google Maps to view and navigate street-level images may help some people get around, but it raises serious privacy concerns for individuals who are unwittingly captured by Google's candid cameras.

Several websites have already taken up the sport of posting links to snapshots of the streets preserved by Google's camera vans.

But, preserving anonymity on the public streets is not a joke. People have a right to go to a sensitive doctor's appointment, hug a friend on a street corner, walk by the window inside their house, or anonymously participate in a political rally without having to worry that their activities will be put up on the Internet as the unfortunate byproduct of a new Google tool.

If you are also concerned about the new Street View, send me an email by clicking on the "Send your comment" link below and I will forward all the comments to Google.

Getting Off Google: To ask for an image to be removed due to privacy or security concerns, click on "Street View Help" link at the top of any image.

Then click on the "Report inappropriate image" link at the bottom of the subsequent page.

Google announced the Street View service on Tuesday morning. Anyone with an Internet connection can currently access 360-degree views of streets in San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami, and Google plans to expand Street View coverage to other cities.