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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google Maps Paranoia

To continue along the theme of the illogical:

The new Google Maps zoom feature zooms all the way into my living room window. See cat on cat perch.

I'm all for mapping, but this feature literally gives me the shakes. I feel like I need to close all my curtains now. I'm going to look into whether it's possible for a person to have pictures of their home removed from Google Maps. Meanwhile, I'm happy to show bb readers the photo in the interest of illustrating creepy privacy violations. Heck, the whole world can see him anyway.
-- Boing Boing: Google Maps is spying on my cat, says freaked out BB reader [BoingBoing]

Followed shortly by another BoingBoing reader who is afraid that *gasp* they might be able to read your license plate!

Wait. Isn't the idea of having a window to allow people to see inside, as well as being able to see the outside? Assuming the cat lady has, you know, neighbors - then this so called invasion of privacy isn't exactly anything new. OK, so some fraction of the net who were looking for an address might now join the numbers of people who either live near, drive around, walk past or bike by this address. Hey, I know - how about alerting one of the largest blogs on the net about it? That's an excellent solution for someone who wants their privacy respected.

Look - someone could be staring into windows right now ... right as we speak. Most likely - it's a complete stranger. Google has nothing to do with that fact - it has been there all along.

And license plates? Someone is worried about their license plate being visible? Realizing of course that if your license plate is not visible that's breaking the law? Because the idea of a license plate is to be publically visible?

The White House has insisted that it has the right to eavesdrop on any citizen, to detained Americans for years without prosecution and use "extreme" interrogation to meet its end.

But by god - let us worry about someone's cat being in a picture on the net.

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