UK Village Takes On Google Street View Car

By  |  Friday, April 3, 2009 at 9:49 am

Google LogoHere’s a way to let Google know you aren’t happy with their efforts to photograph your property: you try to stop them in their tracks. That’s what a bunch of residents in Broughton, Buckinghamshire, England did when they spotting one of Google’s trucks entering their neighboorhood.

According to press reports from both the BBC and Sky News among other outlets, Broughton has been troubled by a spat of burglaries in recent months, so residents have banded together to watch for suspicious vehicles.

The argument is the images taken by Google Street View cameras are an invasion of privacy, and could be used by potential burglars to scope out homes without actually having to enter the neighborhood.

Police were called to the scene, however during that time the Google employee apparently backed off and did not photograph the community. There has been no word whether Google will attempt to photograph the area again in the future.

However, the company mantains it was not breaking the law, and said it does provide a method in which concerned citizens can have themselves or their property removed and/or blurred out in Street View searches.

Click here for a BBC interview with Paul Jacobs, the resident who apparently was the first to take on the Street View car driver. What do you think?



4 Comments For This Post

  1. JDoors Says:

    “What do you think?”

    Seems ironic that England would be the first place where people object to being photographed.

    I ‘get’ their point though, and if this spreads Google could be in trouble. Yes, photographing a public place is legal (for the most part), but is it as clear that you can take said photography and monetize it solely for corporate gain, posting it worldwide, without compensation? And the only way to opt out is for every individual to go to Google to do so?

    Is that fair? Not so clear. Any change in the current scheme would cripple Google.

  2. Steven Fisher Says:

    I think the villagers probably broke the law in blocking the car’s access to public areas.

  3. Ed Says:

    Hurrah for personal privacy.

    Like a lot of invasions Personal Privacy, the “intruder” often argues that “its for the good of all” and will benefit everyone.

    What would you do if a stranger stood outside your house taking pictures? What would happen to you, if you stood outside a government building, airport or railway station and took pictures? You’d be be arrested under the “anti terrorism” laws. Don’t laugh or dismiss this fact. Amateur Photographers around the UK have been arrested or “moved on” under these laws.

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