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Will Google Maps New Street View Tricycles Take Pictures of Our Kids’ Playground?

Should our right to privacy be sacrificed so Google can make billions of dollars off images of us and our things? Google’s grand experiment in photographing the world’s places for Google Maps has taken its “street view” cameras off-road with new hi-tech tricycles equipped with 360 degree view cameras to photograph the back roads, parks, college paths and inner sanctums of our world. The engineer’s latest design raises the question: What will Google be capturing on its backroad tour that people don’t want seen? 2011-03-02-article13618920D6D22A6000005DC654_468x374.jpg The images are up on Google Maps today and we’ll no doubt soon see how the engineers at Google have opened people’s private lives up to scrutiny they did not invite. All so Google can have better images to sell their advertisers’ products around the world. Will Google be adequately blurring the faces of people out of their online photographs?  Go look at this tricycle shot of Legoland and see what you think.  Bet those families that day didn’t realize they were being photographed to boost Google’s bottom line. Did these families have a reasonable expectation that their family photo wouldn’t be open to millions of eyes, and used to sell Google advertising services? Will it be outing college students who don’t want their parents to know what’s in their dorm window, people who don’t want their employers or clients to know what flags they fly or signs they hang on their rural roads, people who built extensions on their home, but didn’t tell the city permitting office? There’s no blurring the identity of people driving certain cars on certain roads near their homes. I don’t want my kids photographed in a playground, or on a class trip to a park or historical site as Google’s tricycles are rolling through. Google claims it will blur faces, but we’ll just have to see how much it values privacy over its desire to put images of everywhere and everything online for everyone to see, just so that advertisers will pay a bigger price to advertise on those pages. This is creepy stuff. Let’s hope this is one time the privacy cops at Google were giving clear direction to the engineers. My bet is we’ll be hearing the fallout soon. More importantly, Google isn’t publishing a newspaper, where photos of people in public places are allowed.  Google is taking pictures to make more money from it’s contextual advertising. Google makes its money one way — advertising.  Our right to privacy shouldn’t be usurped by Google so it can make billions of dollars off images of us and our things. Read the original article on The Huffington Post.
raisinghell Jamie Court is the author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell.

Will Patients Beat Blue Shield Again… This Time With the First Online Ballot Petition for Rate Regulation

Shouldn’t the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at […] Read More..

California Democratic Lawmakers Revive Schwarzenegger Scam To Sell Off Historic State Properties in Order to Save Their Pay

California’s Democratic state lawmakers announced a budget plan to keep their paychecks coming that included one of the worst ideas Arnold Schwarzenegger had since impregnating his kids’ nanny. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget today, they lose their pay tomorrow. So Assembly Democrats have included in their hastily-assembled budget plan Schwarzenegger’s political love child, selling […] Read More..

Do-Not-Track-Online Goes On National Map With Rockefeller Bill

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller did the American people a great favor today by introducing the Do-Not-Track-Online Act of 2011. iPhone and Android users should not have to worry about being spied on by their smart phones. We should be able to say no to Google and Facebook when they violate our privacy daily by tracking […] Read More..

Will the President Gridlock West LA as Prelude to Earth Day? He Should Read the Gas Station Signs

The email warnings are flying in West Los Angeles about how the President’s motorcade will once again gridlock afternoon rush hour. The cause: two mistimed, ill-placed Hollywood fundraisers on opposite sides of the traffic jam known as West LA. There’s probably no major city as pro-Obama as Los Angeles, or state so solidly in his […] Read More..

Google CEO for Commerce Secretary? How About Madoff for SEC?

The strong buzz in Washington, DC is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is President Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary and an appointment is coming soon. The CEO who made billions collecting our personal information online and serving us up to advertisers, the guy who created online privacy problems, would head the federal agency responsible […] Read More..