Monday, October 25, 2010

Google Street View. Complete Invasion of Privacy

Google street viewThis is a photo captured by Google Street View cameras in the US. Shared below, are even more photos of what has Google Street View cameras been capturing without the public noticing and without even their consent.

Google map launched their new under-development project called Street View. Download the latest Google Earth or go to Google Maps from your browser to browse the streets of many countries. The project is intended to drive Google Maps into extreme interactivity of walking and driving through the streets of the world in POV. Also, they planned on providing Wifi Hotspot information to users so wherever you go you can connect to hotspots and be online all the time with no hassle.

So what Google did is that they bought cars all over the world and utilized those cars with special 3D cameras that can shoot from 9 different angles on the move. Also utilized Google personnel with cameras that are of smaller sizes to also roam the streets and capture everything on sight. Along with the special cameras there were special Wifi sensors that can gather all wireless activity around and log detailed information of inbound and outbound connections. During this process, Google has captured thousands of faces, inappropriate photos of couples and individuals, personal Wifi connections and security passwords, email addresses and passwords and much more.

streetview_carsAfter posting those information online and invading the privacy of many individuals all over the world, viewers were shocked as Google did not blur people’s faces leading to the exposure of people’s identity. Not forgetting the exposure of home’s personal Wifi connections and the logging of emails and passwords in Google’s database. I understand that Google’s annual turnover is 14 Billion USD, but this doesn’t give them the right to expose identities and invade privacies all over the world.

UK has gone mad about this exposure and imposed 500,000 Pounds fine on Google. Also there were many remarks and complaints from viewers claiming that they can be seen clearly in the photos. So as a start, the new Director of Privacy Alma Whitten said: “We are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks,” “As soon as we realized what had happened, we stopped collecting all wi-fi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities. This data has never been used in any Google product and was never intended to be used by Google in any way.” “We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward, as well as to answer their further questions and concerns.”

I guess Google wasn’t only satisfied by showing people’s houses to the world. Anyhow, the first conclusion we get from Google is that it was a mistake how they did it, but it wasn’t their staff’s mistake, it was an automated system fault. But they will blur the faces of the people, you can only do that when you see your face on Google Street View, send them a passport copy, then your photo will be blurred.

So one never knows of their exposure all over the internet. No one’s email is safe. If Google can penetrate encrypted and unencrypted Wifi connections, why can’t any computer freak do?. If you think your privacy is protected, in this world where virtual technology is taking over, no one is safe anymore.

Below is a slide show of their cars, personnel, people captured and inappropriate photos taken by the cameras of Google Street View. ENJOY