A Very Public Privacy

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Google Street View-A useful tool or an Invasion of Privacy?

Part of our lesson yesterday was taken up by us all exploring england, from the comfort of our office chairs using google street view. It was great, I had a walk to my parents, stopped off at my friends house on the way, even popped to my grandma’s for a bit.  Fortunately, none of my family were caught by the camera so there was no opportunity for embarrassment on anyones part.

I really should be against street view. If I was heeding my own morals I would call it a massive invasion of privacy that people have no control over,  It isn’t like facebook where you can opt out of it’s service,  If you have never used street view, you might be peeking through the window of your house, for all the world to see, and you would never know.  I do, of course think that steet view can be an invasion of privacy, you only have to type “google street view disasters” into a search engine and you’ll get thousands of results of people in the most comprimising of positions.

The fact of the matter is, Google street view is an amazing tool, you can visit places you’ll never be able to go with the click of a finger, and it really does feel like you’ve been there. Google has offered an explanation for this tool here saying “Street View has a variety of practical uses. Using Street View you can easily find the exact location for your crucial meeting and the nearest coffee shop, plan a restaurant venue to meet friends for dinner, or find the best viewing spot for a marathon or parade. If you are moving house or re-locating, you can save time by exploring properties and their surrounding area in advance and also by looking up driving directions. Street View allows you to check out a hotel or holiday home before you book, and to explore different travel destinations around the world.”

And it’s true.  How many times have you been on time for an interview or meeting but end up five minutes late because you couldn’t find a car park? or known what street your meant to be on but not how far down the street you have to go. Google street view, in my opinion, is an extention of google maps, it can be as simple as that, it just happens to be fun at the same time, and like everything fun, it has it’s downside.

Just like all of my blog posts so far, I would never say do not use this tool for the sake of your privacy, just be careful how you use it. For example, don’t write “OMG My House on Google!!” and post a picture.  because you would be giving too much of yourself away. Everyone should give it a try,  you might just find something suprising!

A virtual tour of London from the comfort of your office chair

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments