Google Street View only shows what is already publicly available; you could go visit every place on it yourself if you wanted to. The service just makes it easier by aggregating an image of every street from multiple sides so that you can see it from the comfort of your own home. That being said, Google is being attacked for it by privacy groups in various parts of the world, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt certainly isn't helping. Most recently, he claims that one reason why Street View isn't so bad is because you could "just move," inaccurately claiming that the Street View cars only visit every place once.
Of course, Street View doesn't (yet?) indicate where you live, so moving wouldn't solve the problem anyway. There are plenty of reasonable ways to respond to a privacy question about Street View, but Schmidt chooses to joke around instead. Check out the video below:
All Things Digital made a list of Schmidt's most recent tone-deaf responses to privacy questions which should help put this latest one in perspective:
Addressed criticisms of Google's stance on privacy by saying, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
Claimed people want Google to "tell them what they should be doing next."
Said of Google, "We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about."
Said this: "One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that."
Suggested name changes to protect adults from the Web's record of their youthful indiscretions.
Said this: "What we're really doing is building an augmented version of humanity, building computers to help humans do the things they don't do well better."
Schmidt was probably making a poor joke about Street View. If this was the first time, we would call it a slip up, but the man's history shows otherwise. The CEO for the largest Internet company needs to start taking privacy seriously or we'll start to lose faith in Google.
I agree that street view is in itself certainly not illegal- it would be very difficult for anyone to make a solid lawsuit against Google for this. What Schmidt said, on the other hand, was just an entirely irrational move. Mocking angry people never calms them down or makes any issues blow over smoothly.
I also agree that if people have an issue with something that is on street view, they should contact Google quietly and have it removed. If Google then refuses to remove it, then maybe somebody's got grounds for complaint.
Sometimes it seems as though a lot of people don't actually have any problem with whatever right of their's has been violated in some way- they just want to be able to sue a multi-billion dollar company and earn a couple bucks.
At any rate, what Schmidt said was ridiculous on any level. He needs to watch his mouth before he really screws something up and catches more serious flak than just criticism. Even Google is not all-powerful, and making angry people angrier just pushes them towards action- although a Google-boycott seems unlikely to work, admittedly.
Sounds a bit like an outdated, not in touch with the public, comment. Being the CEO of a company gives you the right to speak your mind, but there has to come a point in time when it's best to shut your pie hole.
While the comment of "just move" was a bit flippant, and as most CEO interviews I have seen he seems a bit out of touch with peoples actual concerns. Streetview as stated doesn't give you any visual information that you can't get just by driving somewhere yourself. It does a reasonable job of blurring faces, license plates and middle fingers. And as he stated, none of their available information is real time, although I am curious how often map data is actually updated.
I don't understand why this is a privacy concern. It's a view from the street on the internet. Yes if you are caught on street view doing something (the cars are mildly conspicuous) that you don't wish to show then complain. I don't know if they can redo a sweep of the house if you ask them to, but that's what I'd try. That being said, there's no reason for him to stoke the flame.
Privacy is tricky. and the writer is an ***** w/his last comment. Google does awesome ****en things to shake things up. They just sit there and say..how can disturb XXX,and you know what..its for the better, most obvious ANDROID
At some point M$ did state that "Blu-Ray would be passed over as a format". Which is exactly what I'm planning to do. (Although I certainly don't claim to speak for the majority).
Absolutely correct, no one I know have bothered to buy a blue ray device; so that says alot about transitional side of this tech. Now to street view, I have nothing more to say then -> Eric/Google = Arrogance Personified
The concept of piracy seems so accepted to many of you, with its blatant disregard to the intellectual property rights of others, seems to have brought on a complete disregard for your own physical property rights, with respect to being photographed.
Anytime an individual is photographed, in order for that image to be used in a commercial manner, a "model release" must be obtained. You must be of the age of consent to sign this document, and receive monetary compensation for the use of the image, or you have legal avenue to seek redress.
This can extend to property as well, and a property "model" release must be obtained to the same end.
Photographers have been stopped from making, (and selling), images of public buildings, such as stadiums, because they were not the "authorized" person to do so.
So, while this concept might be unenforceable, with a factory stock "X-Box", (since they presumably, "all look alike" , it could be enforceable with an X-Box that has been customized with a fantasy war scene painted on it. The same is true of a house, since each of them is, "customized", to a varying degree.
Since Google is rather obviously a commercial venture, they should be held to commercial standards, and be prepared to obtain signed property releases for those buildings photographed, in addition to providing compensation to the signatories of these documents.
In this situation, Google has everyone disadvantaged, since "reasonable compensation" in these instances, would probably be on the order of a dollar. That combined with the fact a class action lawsuit would have to be filed, and at the end of it, the affected individuals would get about twenty cents each, and the parasites (attorneys) would get about 30 cents from each individual settlement