Google Streetview and the Persisting Problem of Ignorance

Whenever something gets popular enough, or widespread enough, someone, somewhere will see it as a threat.

Google streetview has gone through its share of troubles, merely because it exist, and it is sure to meet with a lot more obstacles as it continues to do just that; exist. And grow more popular. In some countries there has been vandalism and attacks, in others there have been law suits. A common denominator for all of these instances is that if people had taken the time and bothered to update themselves, they would know that this is not a new thing. In Norway, for instance, there was a service just like Google Streewtview years before those little red cars came to the country equipped with their 360 degree cameras.

In the US, there might not have been a similar service, but if people had stepped back a bit and thought about this, it’s obvious that there has been no intrusions worse than what has already been possible, accepted through both common practice and court approved liberties.

Let’s face it people. Anyone can take a picture of your house, your car, you or your damned dog and post them on the internet as long as they stay on a public street when they take the picture. Hell, anyone can shoot a video of you and your dog or cat or wife or whatever and post it online as long as they don’t trespass while shooting it. That’s just the cold hard truth, people.

Google Streetview is in the limelight because of something else. It’s there because someone needs a problem. If there’s a problem, then they can solve it, thereby gaining popularity, and in the wake of that, getting more votes at the next election.

Take a look at this. The so-called “wi-Spy” photo that Google took. It’s some narrow minded politician’s driveway, for crying out loud. The driveway. THE DRIVEWAY! Since when it is illegal to photograph someone’s driveway? 9/11? I don’t think so.

The same goes for the other politicians’ driveways. It’s just not that dangerous, people – and hollering about it does nothing but make you look stupid. Very, very stupid.

Now, there’s a small amount of people who will actually agree that this is a major security risk. These are people who know nothing about security, or risk, or what Google and other companies actually do. Google has always blurred faces and vehicle license plates, for example. That is not going to happen if someone takes a photo of you and your car and your ten years younger mistress outside a hotel and uploades it to Flickr or Facebook or whatever online service they choose to use. Attacking Google for doing the same thing they do, but in a more sensitive and considerate fashion is just plain moronic.

Now, the gathering of info about people’s wifi is another matter. That can’t really be condoned. Then again, it should be said that Google has been up front about that when it was discovered, and though they perhaps should be made to prove it somehow, there is no reason to distrust that they have actually collected that data by mistake, with no intention of using it, and that the data will be destroyed.

In the end, information, in this day and age, cannot be stopped or hindered, and Google with its Streetview will prevail. So clean up your front lawns, everyone. That means you, congressman. Or -woman.

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