Google Street View Privacy Roundup

A roundup of links about Google Street View and its privacy implications (mostly) that have been accumulating in my queue for the past few weeks.

Slate: Google Spies on America.

This Denver Post editorial also raises some concerns about “personal security.” (The editorial also says that “ abandoned its photographic maps last year after privacy concerns were raised. Its cameras photographed women walking into domestic violence shelters.” I don’t recall that being cited as the reason at the time; this must be a variant of reporters’ “in the wake of” trick that implies causality without having to prove it.) Via Anything Geospatial.

Of course, Google has a process for removing yourself for its imagery. Wired’s Threat Level blog goes through the process, which has changed in the meantime, starting off quite byzantine in terms of the identity proofs required and ending up prone to third-party abuse. Via All Points Blog.

European privacy laws require explicit consent for the commercial use of photos in which individuals are identifiable: we may not see Street View in Europe any time soon. Via Slashdot and Slashgeo.

You know things are getting silly about privacy, security and Google’s imagery when the Indian press says things are getting silly. The Financial Express: “How is this snoop job any different from what governments in India and across the world have been doing for years, and who’s to say that we can trust the government any more than we can a private corporation? At least a private company’s intentions are far clearer — nor will it invoke ‘security’ to watch you.” Via Ogle Earth.

Finally, it would appear that Microsoft and its contractors are hoping you’re watching them as much as they’re watching you. Given Windows Live Virtual Local Earth’s mind share relative to Street View, I guess they’re making lemonade.

Previously: Google Maps Street View and Privacy; NY Times on Street View and Privacy; Google Maps Street View: Moral Panic Update.