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Google re-shoots Japan scenes after privacy complaints

Reuters

Company says it will lower its Street View cameras ...Read the full article

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  1. Jak King from Vancouver, Canada writes: I understand the concerns. But I now recognize some benefits, too. See my story here: http://jaksview3.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/street-view-the-upside/
  2. Cole Channing from Canada writes: At what cost?
  3. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: Now where's that poster who claims that there's already technology that can see through solid (opaque) matter into our homes?
  4. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: They should simply be banned from doing this altogether. It's a service that has no reason for life.
  5. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jak King - Lovely nostalgia but it does not justify the existence of this unnecessary and invasive "service".
  6. K L Math from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Why is this such an issue? If this is an invasion of privacy, then anyone who walks along the sidewalk in front of your house is invading your privacy, only worse because they can see your face and your license plate number, in real time (rather than a snapshot), and from multiple angles!

    Here's an idea. If you don't want people seeing you do embarrassing things, DON'T DO THOSE THINGS! Besides, if Google Street View manages to catch you right at that inopportune time, chances are most of your neighbours (probably the only people who actually care) have already seen it.

    I know there will always be people who take issue with this (for reasons that are beyond me). But I wonder if most would be pacified if Google posted a schedule of which streets they'd be doing at which times. That way anyone who cares would know precisely when to close their curtains and shut their garage doors.

    It would also have the added benefit of letting the people on the opposite extreme of the issue know when to set up the human pyramid on their front lawn!
  7. Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: K L Math: when someone has an 8ft wall in front of their property for privacy, and some scum with a tall camera starts shooting over that wall, that's invasion of privacy.

    That's what Google is doing in Japan, where many people have walls around their property because some areas are so crowded you NEED walls to have privacy.
  8. Mark H from United States writes: "Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: They should simply be banned from doing this altogether. It's a service that has no reason for life. "

    Just for that, I'm going to Google you and look at the front stoop of your house.
  9. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    The Google Street View car drove right by me a couple weeks ago while I was returning back from lunch. I'm not sure if they were actually recording at the time (the driver has to go eat lunch to!) but I'm hoping they were.

    Call it narcissism if you will, but I kind of WANT to see myself on Google Street View! Privacy concerns? Hardly, we were stopped at the middle of a semi-busy intersection, there were probably 40 or 50 people who saw live what Google Street View might show in a grainy photo with faces and license plates blurred.
  10. E. Thomas from Toronto, Canada writes: If I want a photo of my house on the internet for all to see, that should be my choice and not Google's. It turns people's private homes into content for profit, without compensation, as well as violating privacy. How do we know B
  11. E. Thomas from Toronto, Canada writes: As I was saying, how do we know B and E artists won't use this information to case locations for future break-ins. (Note: don't worry Globe moderators, I'm not giving them any ideas they haven't had already)
  12. John Smith from Toronto, Canada writes:
    There is NO good reason for this information to be opened up to the world.
    To those people who say that anyone can just walk along my street and see everything they want to see around my house anyway.....Anyone who wants to do that would have to actually get up, get out, and physically do it. And the people who are likely to do that probably live near me anyway and let's face it, there can't be that many of them so inclined.
    When my house gets posted on Google for literally anyone in the world to see, that's an invasion of privacy.
    Please remember that on Google, anyone, ANYONE can see what your house looks like. I'm not comfortable with that, and neither should you be.
  13. JP Thornhill from Toronto, Canada writes: People who live in today's technological-based society have already acquiesced in allowing publically-visible property or scenes to be captured and broadcast, and they should accept that they too invade the privacy of everyone they read about in the paper, magazine, tv, or the net. These people should hide themselves in caves.
  14. pants 7 from Japan writes: Just as a photographer must obtain a property release or a model release google should be required to do the same.
    It doesn't matter if I was driving buy in my car and took a picture of you at McDonald's, I need a property release and model release to sell the image.
  15. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: pants 7 from Japan writes: Just as a photographer must obtain a property release or a model release google should be required to do the same.
    It doesn't matter if I was driving buy in my car and took a picture of you at McDonald's, I need a property release and model release to sell the image.

    ----------------------------------

    Not in Canada or the USA. First off they are not selling the images, they are posting them for free access. Second they are blurring out faces.

    The only time a photographer needs a release is when they take pictures of a person where the face is easily identifiable. They also must be using that image for sale or a contest. You don't require permission to take a picture of anyone, you simply can't sell it or enter it into a contest without permission. If you blur the face, no issues at all, Google is doing that.

    As for property, no need to get permission unless you are trespassing and that's got nothing to do with taking a picture.
  16. Craig Cooper from Toronto, writes: This is what Google is really all about -- invading every aspect of your privacy so they can sell that information to marketers.
  17. A non-Imus from Canada writes: People who are so worried about privacy have an inflated sense of self-worth. You're really not that interesting or important. Why not go back to the womb if the world outside is such a scary place? As for me, I'm investing in tinfoil production.
  18. pants 7 from Japan writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa, architectural design is intellectual property, there are many buildings that have strict restrictions on photography.

    Japan is not subject to either Canadian or American law and if you read carefully I used the qualifier "should" not "must" which makes my statement an opinion, not a factual claim.
    Myself, I would not care if google took images of my butt, but it other people don't want pictures of their house on google I can't casually disregard their worries.
  19. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: pants 7 from Japan writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa, architectural design is intellectual property, there are many buildings that have strict restrictions on photography.

    Japan is not subject to either Canadian or American law and if you read carefully I used the qualifier "should" not "must" which makes my statement an opinion, not a factual claim.

    ---------------------------

    Intellectual property rights does not mean you can't photograph it. Yes many places have restrictions on photography, from on the property itself, nothing they can do about taking photos from off property.

    You'll notice I was also clear to mention Canada and USA, did you not realise that was intentional? I don't know the laws in Japan but I do know the laws in many other countries and it is as I said.

    If people don't want pictures taken of their house from the road, they should build a high enough fence to prevent it or plant a large hedge. Sorry but if you can see it from a public place, you can photograph it from there.
  20. pants 7 from Japan writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa yes you can take a picture but you may not be able to legally publish it anywhere even if you were standing on the moon when you took the picture. For example all night images of the Eiffel Tower have strict copyright protection, it doesn't matter where the picture was taken from. If you publish an image of the night view of the Eiffel Tower, you must pay fees for the right.

    Generally, in the US, if the building is the subject of the image, it is covered under copyright law but if the building is part of a panorama, you have free use.
    I believe anything "published" by the government, including buildings, with a very few exceptions, are free use.

    The pentagon has convinced google, that for "safety" reasons areas around bases were blocked from streetview.
    Well, if it is good enough excuse for the pentagon, citizens should have the same ability to block google from publishing images of their property and the area around their property.
  21. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: pants 7 from Japan writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa yes you can take a picture but you may not be able to legally publish it anywhere even if you were standing on the moon when you took the picture. For example all night images of the Eiffel Tower have strict copyright protection, it doesn't matter where the picture was taken from. If you publish an image of the night view of the Eiffel Tower, you must pay fees for the right.

    -----------------------

    Wrong, you can't earn profit by selling the pictures. You can certainly post a picture of the Eiffel Tower that you took on your web site. Millions of people do every year.

    You don't seem to have much of an understanding of what is being done here. What Google is doing is no different than what you would be doing on vacation. Fact is you can photograph the tower, you can publish it, you just can't turn it into postcards and sell them, well at least not in France. Doubt it would stand up anywhere else in the world though.
  22. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: pants 7 from Japan writes:
    The pentagon has convinced google, that for "safety" reasons areas around bases were blocked from streetview.
    Well, if it is good enough excuse for the pentagon, citizens should have the same ability to block google from publishing images of their property and the area around their property.

    ---------------------

    Again obfuscating. Google agreed not to post close up satellite images of secure areas because they were asked. They didn't have to comply, in fact as soon as the former vice-president was out of office we now can see the VPs residence. It was purely voluntary not a matter of legality. As for the Pentagon, you can see many images on the internet taken from flyovers, far more detailed than google earth ever had. And I might add perfectly legal*.

    Again Google was not blocked from publishing, they were *asked
    and they decided not to.
  23. pants 7 from Japan writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa Here is a link; please read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

    French courts have said that the copyright of images of the tower is valid but exclude panorama images.
  24. Richard Sharp from Gatineau, Canada writes: Isn't Google the "Do no evil" bunch? Hah!
  25. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: pants 7 from Japan writes:
    French courts have said that the copyright of images of the tower is valid but exclude panorama images.

    -------------

    What part of my statement "well at least not in France" did you not understand? BTW wiki is not a good source of information, do work on your source material.

    In any case what I said was correct, nothing stops you from taking and posting a nighttime picture of the tower, unless you happen to be doing it from France.
  26. pants 7 from Japan writes: So, back to my point, Japan should make a new law that would grant default copyright protection to buildings and require google to get a property release to publish any images of buildings or a law that would require them to take down any image of private property by the owner's request.
  27. Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: The invasion of privacy that Google is being allowed to get away with is astounding. Just blurring the face isn't enough. People can EASILY be identified from clothing, body shape, even facial features in a blurred face. Yet Google continues to pretend that it's enough.

    It's a joke. A very bad joke.
  28. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: The invasion of privacy that Google is being allowed to get away with is astounding. Just blurring the face isn't enough. People can EASILY be identified from clothing, body shape, even facial features in a blurred face. Yet Google continues to pretend that it's enough.

    ---------------------------------

    What's amazing is that anyone would actually think that. You're afraid that someone sitting half way around the world might know who you are from looking at your clothes and body shape? What is it you are doing that you're afraid someone might recognize your clothes and body shape, three years down the road when they actually see your picture for the first time?

    Do you think these pictures are being taken daily or something on your street? Heck even the google satellite pictures are often years old. Maybe change your clothes once in a while.
  29. Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: Norm Jom: Ah yes, the old "if you have nothing to fear" defence. One that is used by fascist governments everywhere to defend the indefensible.

    Doesn't detract from the fact that what Google is doing is invading peoples privacy for commercial gain. Sure people can walk down a street. But they can't walk down a street with a camera on an 8ft pole taking pictures of private properties over tall walls. In most countries, that kind of behaviour gets you arrested. Yet Google gets away with it?

    As for being recognised: there have been several cases of people being recognised to their detriment (couple of divorces, a lawsuit or two) especially shortly after the camera has passed through an area. How many cases of one person being recognised by a violent ex in a particular area are we going to need before Google is told to make damn sure that people's features are completely obliterated? To me, ONE is too many. PREVENTION rather than cure. The outcome can be predicted, and is statistically certain to happen eventually. How about preventing it through the simple expedient of requiring that Google implement REAL anonymity for the people it snaps, rather than the obviously inadequate mechanism it has now?
  30. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Maybe it's just me, but I see this whole deal as much ado about nothing. I'm pretty pro-privacy, but honestly we're talking about small grainy pictures taken from fully public locations. It's a picture of the front of your house and MAYBE of you walking down the street. I suppose if you're really worried you can run and hide behind the bush if you see the Google car coming (FWIW they drive a black VW Jetta with a HUGE freaking camera on a big stand... it's pretty easy to spot). Personally I waved when it went by me!

    I wish people were anywhere near as up in arms about the REAL privacy invasions that are going on in our world today. Things like how credit card companies share your buying habits. Or the datamining that is rampant on so many Internet sites (Google included) attempting to track what websites your visit to target advertising at you. Or even some of the things our political leaders are doing with our private information (see recent story about Ontario PC leadership candidates breaching privacy of members of the federal Conservative party).

    Google Street View is a pretty handy service and the level of privacy invasion, in my mind, is extremely low.
  31. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: Norm Jom: Ah yes, the old "if you have nothing to fear" defence. One that is used by fascist governments everywhere to defend the indefensible.

    Doesn't detract from the fact that what Google is doing is invading peoples privacy for commercial gain. Sure people can walk down a street. But they can't walk down a street with a camera on an 8ft pole taking pictures of private properties over tall walls. In most countries, that kind of behaviour gets you arrested. Yet Google gets away with it?

    -------------------------------------

    Google isn't walking down the street with a camera on a 8 foot pole and taking pictures of private property. They are driving around in a vehicle with cameras mounted on the roof, giving a street view, about the same you would get from sitting in a bus going down that same street.

    Having said that, it would be perfectly legal for you to walk down your street with a camera mounted on an 8 foot pole and snapping away. Don't know where you got the idea it isn't legal.
  32. Elmo Harris from Niagara, Canada writes: Man, there sure are a lot of nutbars on this comment section!

    Get over yourselves! As one poster put it: You aren't that interesting.

    If somebody is using Google street view to case your house then they are as nuts as you are!

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