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.”