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back to article Google starts Street View in Europe

Google has started recording the streets of its first non-US city for its Street View service. Google vans with mounted cameras have been spotted on the streets of Rome and Milan. Street View is the project which allows Google users to see photographs of any street in a surveyed area and even travel through the city, frame by …

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Paris Hilton

CCTV-UK

"We urge those looking to use such technology to be mindful of the fact that although they may be in a public place, not everyone wishes their images to be captured"

This is from a British Government department, when the gov. seem to be hell bent on making sure everyone appears on camera as much as possible?

When TV programs like Crimewatch or Police,Camera,Action get broadcast, does every person in every frame of CCTV footage get asked for consent?

the other fly in the ointment is the eejits in Britain who will always gurn at a camera (just watch any local news report) - StreetView UK is going to be full of hoodies with stupid grins and their tongues sticking out...

Paris, because she's not shy of appearing on camera...

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Re: CCTV-UK

"StreetView UK is going to be full of hoodies with stupid grins and their tongues sticking out..."

Tongues may be the least of their worries - how many people would moon the google van? If people find out when/where it's going to be around London, this could be hilarious.

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Simple Solution

Okay, so we all know when there is an ice-cream van nearby don't we? Those of us with kids with superior hearing to our own have a very efficient early warning system of the impending appearance of a certain frozen confectionary vehicle. So, why don't Google come up with a simple marketing campaign highlighting the jingle that their vans would play as it continues its jolly journey through the soon to be immortalised streets of the EU?

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Ash
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Take MY photo?

If I EVER see a van drive down my street with a set of cameras taking pictures, i'm slashing all its tyres and calling the police.

Obviously it's either a:

1) Pedophile, or

2) Terrorist on a reconnaissance mission.

It's what the TV told me.

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Alert

Privacy?

"We urge those looking to use such technology to be mindful of the fact that although they may be in a public place, not everyone wishes their images to be captured,"

Then why is nothing done about the harassment of some celebrities if they dare stick their faces out in public, most of them can argue that being having their picture splashed on the front page of every newspaper in the country with accompanying insult causes them great distress...

Streetview on the other hand will only photograph people going about their everyday business where they are always surrounded by a bunch of other people... Hardly an invasion of privacy, there was non to begin with.

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@Peter Ford - blurry CCTV faces

When CCTV footage is broadcast on television (such as on Crimewatch), the faces of innocent bystanders are normally blurred so they are not identifiable - the same happens when stills are printed in newspapers.

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Already in London

Its already been to London,

I saw one of the Google Streetview VW Beetles about 9 months ago. It went past as I was have a crafty ciggy outside the office.

Here is the one I saw driving around EC2A:

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/has-google-street-view-hit-london/5729/

It has the pictures I've seen of the US ones.

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Cameras in London

So who hired the car that I saw (and which saw me) in London last year? A black VW Beetle, if memory serves.

Aha! http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=13835

Unless London is no longer in Europe, and nobody saw fit to tell me.

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Coat

RE: Take MY photo?

If you're young enough to be appealing to a paedophile, you really ought not to be carrying a blade.

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Just ask to remove pics??

well - ask Mosley how easy it is to get your footage removed once it is online. fleischer should be a bit more realistic in his claims.

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Happy

Re: Take MY photo?

"If I EVER see a van drive down my street with a set of cameras taking pictures, i'm slashing all its tyres and calling the police."

You'd better not come to Southampton! There are several police vans that continually circle the city with mobile CCTV cameras on top. It'd be a bit embarrassing to slash their tyres.

Personally, I'm going to email Google a photo of me, and my necessary personal details, with a request not to include me in any Street View photos. As far as the data protection act is concerned, that should be enough information to force Google to make sure they do not have records of me (beyond the ones I consent to, ie. the photo I have emailed for them to keep on file). Thus, they must make sure I do not appear in any Street View photos. How they go about this is their problem!

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Coat

European Cities

Good luck to them if the think they can manage Amsterdam without being shot by those protectiong the "sights".

And how the hell are they going to get a van round Venice! :D

Sorry, couldn't resist!

The one with the European City Guide in the pocket, please!

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Cameras in London

I remember one last year while standing outside of the Ship in Wardour St, but it wasn't a black VW, but a black Smart car with the camera mounted on top.

I also remember a picture (not sure if it was on the Reg or not) of one of them on it's Arse after trying to drive through a car park entrance and got flipped over by it's camera.

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@ Simple solution

The way the ice cream van gets known is by repeating their jingle many times over. I'd assume google only drives once or twice through each city, which doesn't really allow people to get used to and recognise it.

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Help yourselves Google

At least over in Europe they'll get far less fucknuts suing Google simply for money, because of "mental trauma" or some bloody excuse.

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest if i appeared on a Google street view, it would be a very tiny claim to web fame at the least.

Honestly, unless you are on some kind of witness protection program, or are a secret agent, you have no right to complain.

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Flame

"simple solution" my ass

> "That's why we designed a simple process for anyone to contact us and have their image removed."

Oh gee, thanks ever so much. Now do you mind telling us how we find out if you've GOT our fucking image in the first place, without having to manually search every single google street image photo for everywhere we've ever been in the entire country? Idiot.

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Law
Coat

erm... but flickr??

Surely Yahoo should be sued then!! Take a look on Flickr - ok, now the pictures themselves are normally creative commons, but I am 100% sure that the people in pictures around tourist area's didn't agree to have their portion of the photos taken, uploaded, shared - then used in an insulting advertising campaign by Virgin or other big business'.

Leave Google alone... they are our friends.... in 20 years time we will thank them for releasing us all from the tight grip of our government oppressors and taking us into a New World Order!! :D

We need a set of Google-Saint/Sinner icons please.... for the minute, I will choose the man caught pickpocketting on street view (blurred ofcourse!)

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Congestion Charge

> I remember one last year while standing outside of the Ship in Wardour St, but it wasn't a black VW, but a black Smart car with the camera mounted on top.

That wass probably one of the Congestion Charge vehicles that womble around London capturing all the number plates it sees.

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Black Helicopters

@ Joe K

"Honestly, unless you are on some kind of witness protection program, or are a secret agent, you have no right to complain."

Yes, but if you *are* a secret agent or on some kind of witness protection programme, it's a bit late to complain once you've been shot by Mosad or the mafia....

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'Privacy' is not the correct word.

You are not 'private' when you walk down a public road, or otherwise appear in public. Neither is your cars number plate.

If I can 'see' you with my eyes and 'remember' that I saw you with my mind, then whats the problem if I see you with my camera and remember that I saw you with some kind of storage system?

Secondly, the process of blurring faces and number plates, if they really must, is easily accomplished by means of techniques such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk. This uses humans to identify faces and other privacy senstitive information. Not every frame needs to be analyzed, one in 10 or 20 frames may be sufficient for an automated system to interpolate the rest.

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Anonymous Coward

If Mossad were after you ...

they not need to wait for Google.

I have no problem with appearing on a Google street view, Hey I was there, so what?

There is a issue in the UK at the moment with people taking pictures anyway, especially with long lenses as they are all known to be reconing for a terrorist plot. What a special constable would make of a van driving around doing the same I shudder to think.

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Happy with that!

"Oh gee, thanks ever so much. Now do you mind telling us how we find out if you've GOT our fucking image in the first place, without having to manually search every single google street image photo for everywhere we've ever been in the entire country? Idiot."

Hope that's sarcastic! Google have done fantastic with Google Earth and I enjoy seeing how they push at the frontiers. Saint Google on this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Possible solution

If you've seen Microsoft's PhotoSynth demo, you'll know that there is software that can recognize common features in photographs taken from different angles at different times.

So how about driving down each street on separate days and only including areas of the images that are found to be common (although it wouldn't work for people who stand at the same street corner each day , like er..... newspaper sellers).

Or maybe they could just create some smart face-recognition program to blur all faces and license plates.

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Anonymous Coward

Cats!

European cats!

Your sleeping in the window days are numbered.

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Flame

It's perfectly legal

to take photographs in public, of the public, in the UK. Don't let anybody tell you different. It seems the police, park wardens and generally everybody else doesn't have the faintest idea what the law actually is, so frequently end up acting illegally towards photographers. It's also an offence (assault) to delete, or coerce somebody else into deleting, those photographs without permission.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7351252.stm

As for "...be mindful of the fact that although they may be in a public place, not everyone wishes their images to be captured".

It's fucking irrelevant what they wish. The only thing that's relevant is that it's lawful.

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Black Helicopters

Not first outside USA

Google started street view in Australia last year... you can see the car used here:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/googles-candid-camera-snaps-australia/2007/11/23/1195753275851.html

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Paris Hilton

Just a thought

How long before we have the first Google divorce, because they took your picture when you were walking hand in hand down the street with someone that your (now ex) spouse didn't know about.

Paris, because she wouldn't be that....

Forget the last bit

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@eddiewrenn

Well, yes, it is sarcastic. I don't have a problem with photography in public places, I figure it's my right too so I don't see why it shouldn't be Google's right equally.

Given that, I thought that making an issue of the mechanism for removal was silly and specious. It's unnecessary *and* ineffective, and I despised the mealy-mouthedness of Fleischer's statement: his attitude is neither one thing nor the other, and rather than defending *everyone's* common right to photography in public places, he comes out with this half-hearted non-solution to a non-problem. He should have had the courage of his convictions, but he wimped out.

Hence I was distinctly underwhelmed.

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In NZ too

I saw a Google Street View car in Wellington in December.

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Stop

Re: It's perfectly legal

Anon coward said:

> As for "...be mindful of the fact that although they may be in a public place, not everyone wishes their images to be captured".

It's fucking irrelevant what they wish. The only thing that's relevant is that it's lawful.

-----

Try this - actually what I wish *is* fucking relevant - not least because on the ground at that moment the law is fucking irrelevant when compared to the relevant thing, which is that I'm bigger, harder and tougher than you are - i.e. I don't give a fuck if what you're doing is technically lawful, you still won't do it to me.

I ain't joking - I don't mind being in the background of a shot, but I will not have dickwods stick a camera in my face and expect me to acquiesce to a portrait photo. And yes I will kick up a fuss and indeed kick off if necessary.

Have some manners and have some respect, rather than just having a smarmy attitude.

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reflection on the comments

Yes it's legal to do so... yes you are in a public place etc... BUT

You walking down the street 0-200 people seeing you...(or however many you manage to squeeze on a street at any given time)... chances are of those people only 1/10th if that will actually remember your face in any detail...

Your face plastered on the web(one image is sufficient to get around) == world+dog seeing you

While I have absolutely NO issues with No. 1 I have issues with No. 2. And that is what the issue is... Not of taking of pics... but of redistributing those pics in any form/shape/size/etc... And that's what google is doing... they redistribute those pictures without permission of the people on those pictures...

It is a reasonable expectation of privacy to not have your image plastered all over the web... Hmm maybe it's time to get a hoodie for when they get around here...

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Streetview ads

Here in Holland we already have a company that has been doing this for years. One day a colleague and I saw them going around the streets where we were working and thought of a brilliant plan. We will sell advertising, go round with a big billboard advertising something and get it into as many frames as possible. If that doesn't work we could always get Google to pay us to bugger off.

But seriously I cannot see how it is the responsibility of the individual to identify themselves and get themselves removed. Surely, just like the Borings, the damage is already done as the images are already out there.

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Bollox legal advice

"In the UK, data protection law allows the taking of photographs in public places without the permission of people who will appear in the photo, but that does not apply for photos for commercial purposes. For those, subjects should be notified."

Utter nonsense - have a look around a news site and ask yourself how many people in the photos would have had their permission sought.

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I may be wrong, but

Google street view looks like a commercial purpose to me. It's sole reason for existance, being to drive up google's ad revenue.

"but that does not apply for photos for commercial purposes. For those, subjects should be notified."

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