Opting out of Google Maps' Street View in Germany will blur the image of your building on the photographic map, and make you hideously uncool. So says a group of vandals who egged homes in Essen that appear pixelated on the search engine's map, leaving notes that say "Google's cool" (in English) on the privacy-lovers' doors and mailboxes.
The victims are part of the 3 percent of German residents, totaling almost 250,000 people, who chose to have images of their homes blurred from Google's Street View map feature. Google uncharacteristically offered Germans the chance to opt out of the system before it launched after German government officials voiced concerns about privacy rights and Google's data-collection method.
The identity of the person or persons who used Google's tool to track down the spotlight-shunning opters-out and vandalize their uncool homes is unknown.
Google responded: "We respect people's decision to opt out and by no means consider this to be acceptable behavior."
hope they upgrade to bricks soon
I understand not wanting a picture of your house online, but what exactly are you trying to hide really? All one has to do is look at somewhere down the street where it isn't blurred and use it as a reference point to figure out where the op-out people are. ...it's not orbital physics or anything.
You might as well put a blurring banner up and not opt-out, it might get you a little press time anyhow, your 10mins of fame? ;D
yeah. I can understand opting out. hiding your identy is important in this day and age, but this is going to do little to hide you at all. maybe they have really ugly houses and dont people they know to see that. a girl you like might look you up on google and see you apt. my looks like like hell from the outside and the landlord never paints or cuts the weeds. The inside is great. I would blur my apt building out of shame, but google is welcome to show the inside of my place!!!
Given the choice, I might opt out, and why not? It's my house not Google's. Doesn't really matter why somebody might want to opt out.
As for the vandals, I hope that they get caught and decently punished. Nice of popsci to not express their own disapproval of the vandals' actions.
While protecting privacy has become an important issue, I'm not sure that this is an effective way to do so, but it is cool that Google let them opt out... shouldn't they give that choice to everyone?
I like the service and have used it quite regularly but this is a pretty serious issue. The vandals have in fact proved an important point ... you can be targeted using these street images. It does not matter what the motive was for this particular bunch. They had an issue with a group of people that they identified and then used Google to locate their homes. This time it was just blurred images but there are other indicators that can be used to identify the homes of different groups of people that might be targeted in the future.
It has scary implications just from the surveillance aspect despite the images being static and dated. There is still plenty of information to be gleaned from the images. Details that you might not want someone to know about your home. I think this is going to get a bit messy before a solution is found.
Why those little punks. If they egged my house I'd chase em down and Google their faces in! But seriously, these people were just about asking for it when they opted out. Think about it, would they have been singled out like that if they hadn't? No, they would have just been another house on the street. What is the difference between looking at the house on Google Earth's street view and looking at the house as you walk by on the sidewalk? There is none!
If anything, these people singled themselves out by telling Google to blur them! It's like the crotchey old man who yells at the kids who are nonchalantly walking by to "Get offa my property!" when in reality, they aren't doing anything wrong. In turn, the kids pull a prank to teach to teach the old meany a lesson in the form of thrown eggs or flaming bags of dog doo. This is just the new 21st century version of the same old story.
I think it's funny. Besides, these are probably the same type of people who turn their neighbors in for code violations like their grass being an inch too high or kids toys being in the yard. You know, petty stuff like that. I wouldn't doubt at all if that had something to do with it.
I can see it now, a group of German teens were looking at their block in Google Street View, noticed that mean old Mr. Glockenschpiel's house was blurred, and concoted a prank to teach the mean and nasty old man a lesson. Sounds exactly like something I would have done as a kid; stupid, but funny as heck.
Share a website with you
☆ ╭⌒╮ ╭⌒
our websit: ★∴ ☆
☆ ( http://www.fashionstyle2.com )
accept paypal╭⌒╮⌒╮★∵╭⌒ ★∴ ☆
｜田｜田田│ ☆Free Shipping ★
You must not miss it!╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬
Honestly, you might as well deactivate the comments at this rate...
Where do you live? Care to post your address, and perhaps a picture of your house -- just in case someone thinks it would be fun to egg it?
I live in Texas, things like this don't happen here, why, you ask, because we have guns... and we use them >:)
People cannot claim privacy over something that is inherently public. You cannot sue somebody and claim privacy when he/she takes a picture of you running naked in the street. Afterall, you did run in a public space (and you can also get arrested). For the same reasoning, pictures of homes and building are public information. Anybody can drive through that street and see what the buildings look like. However, the info about who lives in those building is private. If a piece of information cannot be tied to you as a person (name, age, driver's license number etc.) then it is not private information. So unless Google is posting pictures of the building/houses along with who lives in there, then it is public information.
@tundrasea and how does someone knows that its your "building"/home ? Google always blur the faces and mailboxes IDs...