Friday, July 04, 2008

Two Google stories! Street View and YouTube

Yesterday while looking out of the bedroom window I saw a car drive past with what appeared to be a tripod on it's roof with camera's (?) pointing in all directions. In my head I thought ah a Google camera car. It has to be said that the car was travelling at speed, quite fast for the narrow quiet road on which I live, it's speed made me think that it couldn't have been a google surveyor but then today I read this.

"Google Street View" matches photographs to maps, providing a real 3D view of a location. If passers by or residents are in the street as the image is taken, they appear on the "Street View" display. In the States some individuals have complained about their presence and had their images removed or blurred, Google "has said it has begun to trial face blurring technology,
using an algorithm that detects human faces in photographs."

Here in the UK "Privacy International, a UK rights group, believes the technology breaks data protection laws."In our view they need a person's consent if they make use of a
person's face for commercial ends," said Simon Davis of the group.""

I wonder did they catch my face peering through the window?

The story makes my sighting of the strange camera car all the more interesting because the same news story includes this sentence. "Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started this week."


Coincidentally Google was in the news yesterday. A judge in the States has ruled that Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched a video on YouTube to Viacom. That's 12 terabytes of data! Apparently the viewing log will contain the log in ID of users, the computer IP address and details of the video clps watched.

Scarey stuff. Once Viacom have the data what will they do with it.

This court case raises once again all sorts of questions about the vast amounts of personal data held by social networking sites, ISPs, Google, etc.etc.

Big Brother has not gone away!



1 comment:

  1. It does make you wonder. How far can you trust those web sites that boldly proclaim "We will never give away or sell your details"? Perhaps they should add... "unless someone makes us."

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