Google Street View Cars: Roof Cameras Not Enough

By Peter Chubb - Oct 26, 2010

While driving in the city I noticed a car with a camera perched up high on the roof, in an instant I knew that this was a Google Street View car. These cars are used to map a road so that the images can then be used on their Google Earth program. It is no secret that some people are not happy with these cars, but when the Privacy Regulator in Italy announced that Google will need to label their cars clearly I had to laugh.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but that camera that stands at least five feet above the roof tells me what it is, so why would you need a label as well? Reuters also reports that the regulators also said that Google will have to share information of the cars itinerary three days before. This will have to be done on the radio and sharing details with newspapers.

OK, we can understand that these Street View cars have been collecting emails and passwords via open Wi-Fi Networks, something that Google has been looking into.

However, I do not understand why people would need to know when the vehicle is coming, they see what we see on a daily basis.

Do you think that some of these recent European laws are now getting out of hand? There are millions of us who use such a service, and at least we know about it. What about those satellites that circle above the earth – we do not know what they are up too?

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  • K

    Street view cars look at which wifi networks are available in agiven area as a way to get more precise location information than gps…the relative strengths of wifi networks can give much better results than gps in places with tall buildings (or within buildings)

  • How can Google honestly say they were taken by surprise as to the Data they collected from Wi Fi networks?

    They were supposed to be collecting Photos and logging the area’s by GPS so why exactly were they carrying specialized equipment to gather Wi Fi Data?

    As much as I appreciate the importance in the business and private sector for Estate Agents etc, to give better information as to any given area, there can be no excuse in my mind to carry out this surveillance operation on WiFi Networks.

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

  • PBaker

    Well if you know when it's coming, you can turn off your broadband connection. Or be ready to stand there with a rude notice, or whatever. So it's a great idea!

  • Paul

    What about those satellites that circle above the earth – we do not know what they are up too? ………….. Now u said it all !