Oct 282010
 
 October 28, 2010  Breaches, Non-U.S., Online

Robert Halfon, The MP who will today ask the Commons to curb Google’s powers, writes:

A hot summer’s day in North London and families are enjoying picnics in a garden square, the younger children running gleefully around in the sunshine with no clothes on.

A pleasant enough scene, except that months later it’s revealed that one of the naked toddlers has been captured on camera and the pictures beamed around the world for anyone with an internet connection to see. This might sound like something from George Orwell’s Big Brother. But it is a true story and, while the family in question has never been identified, the name of the Peeping Tom responsible is one familiar to anyone who has ever surfed the web.

[…]

Google has now promised that it will get rid of all the data it has collected, but this is hardly the point. A safe-cracker might well assure you that, although he has obtained the code number to your safe, he has since destroyed it and so can never use it. But I would feel a lot happier knowing that he never had it in the first place.

In launching projects like Street View, Google appears to have forgotten that people are individuals. We do not necessarily want pictures of our homes and gardens made available on the internet, for burglars and nosy neighbours to pore over.

And while most of us do not make a habit of falling down drunk in the street, or canoodling with a mistress, you can’t help feeling some sympathy for those who have been photographed while doing so, as has happened in some of the most unsavoury cases.

Read more in the Daily Mail.

I think the issue is not “Why can’t we?” as much as “Why don’t we?”

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