The search giant Google has returned to the streets of Asheville with its Google Street View cars, the brightly colored vehicles with giant cameras attached to their tops. The cameras capture a 360-degree view. Some folks see Google Street View as an invasion of privacy, but others see it as a great navigational tool. Google Streetview on wiki. The cars were first spotted around Asheville about three years ago.
What do you think?
Thanks to loyal reader Stacy for sending these pix!
I teach in prison and have a family. I do not like that street view has photos and directions to my home.
It’s legal in the United States to take photographs from public spaces. We don’t want to turn into the Soviet Union here and prevent people from taking photos of what anyone can see with their own eyes. That said, one is supposed to obtain a “model release” when one publishes photos of “recognizable” persons. We know that Google does not do that for its Street View shots. Google thinks it gets around this by blurring the faces of people to make them “unrecognizable” — but take a look at this Street View shot [link provided below] of a person crossing Patton Avenue and ask, is she recognizable? If you know her clothing, she might be recognizable to you. This matters only if you think that this compromises your ability to control the rights to your own image (i.e., publicity) or can convince a judge that you have been materially damaged in some way by its publication. Otherwise, no harm, no foul.
Here’s the Street View link – copy and paste into your browser.