back to article Street View spycar prowls Inverness

Hot on the heels of reader Ziad al-Hasso's clocking of Google's Street View spycar in London, Scott MacLeod brings us chilling evidence of the search monolith's ambitions to expose the entire UK to international scrutiny: The Street View spycar spied in Inverness The vehicle in question was snapped around two weeks ago in …

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Coat

Nessie hunting

That's not Google maps, they're Nessie hunting.

I for one one bow down to our new Google overlords and and their Orwellian snooping.

Mine's the one with the fish in the pocket!

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IT Angle

Google?? You're kidding

Here in Australia, where I live anyway you can't just go around taking photo's and video and posting on the net. In fact, the town I live in you need to get a licence to take pictures in certain parks, for example for a wedding!

I find it so hard to believe that you can have one of these 'beauties' roll down your street and snap you in your front yard or your car in your driveway or whatever and because it's Google its OK.

Although I am usually a Microsoft basher imagine the outcry if this was Redmond doing this.

It's bad enough that Google keep all our search records, and check a record of every clip you have ever watched on Youtube but now they are taking pictures of our front yards and posting on the net.

News & Views, Installation Guides and How To's

http://tnetech.net

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stu
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Stop

Privacy

What am I missing here... a bloke with an SLR taking pictures of buildings or the odd person in a town gets linched by the coppers for being a terrorist, but it is apparently ok to go around taking high resolution shots of every ruddy street in Britain.

Oh, I am sure the non-obscured pictures with people, vehicle number plates, etc, etc will all be immediately deleted by Google and not provided to the government if they ask nicely so I have nothing to worry about.

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Joke

and anyway...

what privacy concerns ? I'd love my nekkid sunbathing bits to be immortalized in streetmap-glory for eternity (or until next scan). Bring them on, say I !!

In fact, in that street, there's a rather lovely lady whose address I could give out, if they could just loiter round hers for a bit. Cheers !

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Coat

I totally agree

Having someone drive down your street being able to see your house is a terrible invasion of privacy, completley removed from the current situation of .. errr ... someone driving down your street and being able to see your house.

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Anonymous Coward

Car reg. numbers

Google claim that they will disguise car registration numbers. Why has El Reg not behaved responsibly and done that to those cars in the background?

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Not sure what to think?

Seems to me that the Reg is suffering from indecision here. Not so long ago you were running stories informing photographers of their rights to shoot when, where, and what they please and now two stories in two days getting your knickers in a twist about Google doing exactly that even when they have promissed to blur faces.

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Invasion of The Snoopmobiles

Looks like the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster.

What we need is a heroic saviour, hmmm, let's say Bruce Willis or, even better, Will Smith before they take over the entire planet.

Do you think flushing them with seawater would kill 'em off?

Well, it worked for them damn Triffids.

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The Domesday system...

Had an interactive part where you could wander around a city's streets. The 80s captured right there forever.

http://www.domesday1986.com/

What's the big deal?

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Anonymous Coward

O look

I wonder if the reg asked those drivers in those other cars for their permission before invading their privacy by posting their license plate numbers on the reg and locations (what if one was having an affair and his wife reads the reg, now the wife is boiling his bunnies and it's all your fault) tshhh.

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Go

Why has everyone got a problem with this?

What do I care if I get snapped walking down the street? You're all paranoid.

I hope they come to my town (Preston). Yes, Google - that was a hint...

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Genius

Now we all know what they look like. (The cars). So, every time someone sees one pass, give it the bird, or moon it, or relieve yourself in front of it (Google-whacking (TM))???

That'll give their face recognition technology something to work with. Imagine the kudos for getting the old boy on google maps.

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Stop

You are in breach of . . .

. . . something, certainly. You are showing the Google-car's number-plate! Not only that, you show the number plates of the other cars around it! Suppose one of those people was actually supposed to be somewhere else at the time - they're exposed now.

If Google say they're going to blur the number plates (and faces), shouldn't El Reg?

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Black Helicopters

whats the problem

I really cant see what the problem is with this. if someone is on the street they are in public therefore they cannot complain if some one takes there picture.perhaps better to complain on the number of CCTV spycams on our streets. The privacy people would do better complaining about Google / You Tube being forced to hand UK user details to a USA company (viacom) which is against the UKs Data protection act.

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Flame

Useful

The privacy whiners have plenty to harp on about, some of it even justified, but they can keep their hands off this one. Considering there are bloody cameras everywhere, mostly serving little real purpose, it's about time someone applied pervasive snooping to an application that's actually of some use. When navigating a trip to an unfamiliar place using satnav, those last few meters after "You have reached your destination" are sometimes surprisingly tough. Street View could be a big help to identify the exact building you're going to, where you might be able to park nearby etc, etc.

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Paris Hilton

Er, Google?

Do no evil?

I'd have thought, what with the carbon-cultists dictating what's good and what's bad these days, that running a huge fleet of cars around all over the world for no good reason other than to put better piccies on your website would rank fairly highly in the "evil things done by big companies" table.

So, either you're shameless planet killers or you're carbon-cult deniers. Which is it?

Paris, for the obvious "been everywhere and there are pictures on the web to prove it" connection.

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Don't get caught on Google

It would seem to me that the best way to protect your privacy from the Google spycars would be to moon them. I call on all Britons to have their belts loosened in readiness and drop to the occasion if and when it arises. The operators will be forced to blur out the offending images thus erasing all trace of the bum owners identity. You may get slightly arrested or appear on an underground porn site but otherwise the idea is sound.

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And London too

Sighted on a road in south east London this morning on my way to work - one assumes there is a fleet?

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Edinburgh

I've seen the car by my house, at work whilst exiled for a ciggie and this morning after dropping off the kids.

I wonder if I'll be in all three scenes?

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I really really really don't see the problem

Why are people getting upset about the whole street view thing? Apart from a few people with something to hide (Crims, benefit cheats, MP's maybe) how is this hurting anyone?

And if it's ok in the States (where they have less CCTV etc than we do), why are Joe Public complaining about something they might actually be able to use and is, after all, fun?

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Coat

Streetcar Mashup

Someone ought to write a Google Maps Mashup to track the Street View spycar and take photos of it

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leave us alone

Why don't Google just f*** off.

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Joke

Appalled of Wherevershire

I'm APPAULLED that The Register have ILLEGALLY published this photograph for COMMERIAL GAIN. I can just about see through the widow on the left hand side of the picture which invades that householder's privacy.

Have you NO MORALS? What is this, if not a stripped down version of StreetView?

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Google?? It's hard to believe

My view is that Google street View should be illegal. Why? Invasion of privacy.

Here in Australia, where I live anyway you can't just go around taking photo's and video and posting on the net. In fact, the town I live in you need to get a licence to take pictures in certain parks, for example for a wedding!

I find it so hard to believe that you can have one of these 'beauties' roll down your street and snap you in your front yard or your car in your driveway or whatever and because it's Google its OK.

Although I am usually a Microsoft basher imagine the outcry if this was Redmond doing this.

It's bad enough that Google keep all our search records, and check a record of every clip you have ever watched on Youtube but now they are taking pictures of our front yards and posting on the net.

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Why?

I still don't get how this is a privacy issue. Anything visible on the photos will also be visible to every other person on the road or pavement. Why are people expecting privacy on a public road?

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Ooh, me too

I saw this car too, in Barmulloch in Glasgow. I would have snapped it had I not been on the bus at the time.

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Unhappy

complaining for the sake of it

You get a live outside broadcast and the TV crews can't keep the kids and adults standing behind the reporter waving, screaming and shouting "hello mum".

Yet a similar project and there's an outcry of "privacy".

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Stop

Imformation Commissioner

interesting that they have done bugger all about the complaints about phorm, but they'll quite happily investigate google for doing nothing wrong.

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Thumb Up

The french have had this for ages...

See http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/villeendirect/

You can actually zoom into peoples homes and watch them undress. And read their credit card details. And watch them make home made explosives. And watch them undress some more.

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TeeCee

TeeCee, there was some Scandanavian guy who recently send a GPS device on a massive journey through DHL, simply to draw a picture with the returned co-ordinates. Many people thought this was brilliant, personally I thought it was a massive waste of resources. Much like Formula 1 racing, actually. This streetview stuff which Google is doing might actually have a few benefits, as well as being quite interesting. Paul Talbot above manages to say what I was trying to say earlier, but much more succinctly

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There is actualy...

As I said befor, an "expectation of privacy" on British streets. Google are braking this. El Reg are clearly publising baised on the "public interest" laws.

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Boffin

You're all mad

Google own your ass. Along with Tesco and Ikea.

I saw this car thing on the streets of Haringey 3 weeks before Google said they "may be" using it in London. There'll I'll be, pedalling to work for all to see. At least it didn't knock me off and say "sorry I didn't see you".

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Anonymous Coward

This doesn't need a title!

@Paul Talbot: Precisely, the law even defines where one can expect a reasonable amount of privacy... and a public place is absolutely not one. Granted if the Google-snappers rolled down a terraced street and inadvertently captured someone sitting on their sofa I would have to agree that faces (or anything else they may be exposing!) should be blurred. Last time I checked it isn't illegal (yet!) to take photo's of absolutely anything or anyone in a public place (given the odd few, well documented, exceptions covered by law).

I suspect some people, in some specific areas of the UK, won't have to worry about this anyway lest Google fancy having their (no doubt) expensive equipment used as target practice by locals yoofs hurling bricks and eggs at it.

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Stop

And another

Saw one today in Milton Keynes

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so........

So if I'm a fiendish international paedo terrorist, all I need to do is strap a huge pile of junk with a videocam in it on top of a cheap hatchback and everyone will think its a Google Streetcar. Beats stumbling along the pavement with my Nikon & getting pestered by PCSO's anyday.

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No ta...

I don't want Google taking pictures of me or my property. My reasons are my own.

You can question all you like, but that's all you're getting. The reason being that it's my right to keep it to myself. I publish my name above by choice, and there's the crux of it. I show what I want to, I hide what I want to. Choice.

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screw google

Some people are saying you can just ask for the picture to be removed so whats the issue? What if someone else sees the image of me before I do. I shouldn't HAVE to scan through Google stree view every day to check if they have been taking pictures of me.

The cars AREN'T restricted to public places only, the cameras are capable (and do) of taking pictures through your home windows, garden etc all private property.

As for those who say Google aren't making money from this. Uh sorry? Subdomains and internal pages of google.com, promoting their site as a whole.

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Pirate

All Rubbish !

This is not a Googol Car !

It is a sneaky test run of a "Pay to Throw" dustbin inspection !

Mines the one with the tin foil wrapper..

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Black Helicopters

@Mike: What's the problem?

The privacy people would do better complaining about Google / You Tube being forced to hand UK user details to a USA company (viacom) which is against the UKs Data protection act.

Erm, pretty sure there's a thing called safe harbour (yes with a U!) in the DPA which allows data to be passed to foreign countries that we have agreements with, and the US is just one such country, as is India hence all the call centres being able to access our bank details.

What we should be more concerned about is their slow updating, Manchester wasn't updated for years, the Urbis and the city of Manchester stadium were still building sites on the net whilst I drove passed them everyday!

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Anonymous Coward

At least...

the bus spotters can work from home now.

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Dangerous car

My friend has much much smaller mods on his car and has been pulled by the traffic cops so many times its untrue. That equipment looks pretty dangerous... if the car hits a kid then I'm pretty sure that stuff on top isn't factory standard and passed safety requirements...

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So...

You're all worried about a picture that will probably show up on the net 6 months from now?

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The problem is?

Frankly unless it happens to catch me banging the neighbours cat I don't see what problem is (People will give good money for those pictures!)

If I commute into central london everyday for work, my not so pretty face is captured in public on approx. 250 different camera's and saved for posterity. Some of these camera's are open for public access on the internet (Street/traffic cams) with no-pixel blurring of faces etc.

People get a life, or move to somewhere with no technology, it a peice of harmless fun. We've exhausted the black helicopters, now its time for thong watch.....

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Anonymous Coward

re: something to hide idiots

" Having someone drive down your street being able to see your house is a terrible invasion of privacy, completley removed from the current situation of .. errr ... someone driving down your street and being able to see your house. "

I think if there was a steady stream of millions of people per day going past your house with a camera you'd probably put up a 6 ft fence around your entire premises.

There is a difference between a random person walking by your house, or someone taking a picture that will be viewed by their teacher for a school project, or for their own personal collection at home, it is an entirely different thing when someone takes that photo and immortalizes it on the internet where anyone and everyone is free to view it and copy it and exploit it and what not.

You need to think for a minute before you speak. You people are obviously of the opinion that if it doesn't effect you it isn't a big deal. Therefore I suggest you butt out since it's too hard for you to actually consider if it was you who was snapped. Or you on a day when you looked less than your perfect, perfect, happy to pose for photos for google and potentially achieve worldwide fame self.

Why anyone would be against privacy concerns being listened to by the authorities or being against privacy laws in general (one of the good things about living in the UK) is beyond me....

God forbid you don't get that photo of a person minding their own business on the street, who just happened to NEED to go outside, for your own selfish or voyeuristic reasons.

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@tnetech

"Here in Australia, where I live anyway you can't just go around taking photo's and video and posting on the net. In fact, the town I live in you need to get a licence to take pictures in certain parks, for example for a wedding!"

Fuck me, Where the hell do you live?, Long Bay?

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Go

privacy concerns

There's a fairly simple solution to this but i doubt Google will undertake it because it will cost some money.

Its a simple 3 step solution.

a) obscue all people's faces (and any other identifying features)

b) obscure all licence plates details

c) black in windows if required so that people cant peer inside houses

Do that, and the privacy concerns of your average person are taken care of and Google remove the risk of litigation because someone was caught having an affair or skipping work due to a street view pic. Problem solved.

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@Roger Paul

Hey Roger...

"You can question all you like, but that's all you're getting."

No I really don't want to know thanks! ;-)

"I show what I want to, I hide what I want to. Choice."

You can't choose not to show anyone your house though can you? It outside, in public.

If you don't want your house photographed the best you can hope for is that you live at the end of a long private road. And even that is no guarantee... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/05/google_street_view_suit/

Roger Heathcote

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Paris Hilton

what goes around

Hehehe, funny really how Reg reports the sightings then readers turn on Reg to blur it's images, next we'll have someone suggesting that missives sent to Reg should be blurred or encrypted to disguise out any kind of human factor. What seems to be missed out here is how security, privacy invasion and like constructs are affecting us since our revered bunch of controllers took office. A deeply unhealthy obsessive and dark country we have when it comes to people control.

Paris because she knows a lot about control.

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@Louis Cowan

"... there was some Scandanavian guy who recently send a GPS device on a massive journey through DHL ... "

Umm, how are the radio waves going to get inside a DHL lorry or aeroplane? How large were the batteries? Sounds a bit fishy to me.

WRT this whole Google photography business, a) it's legal to take photographs outside and b) if you have something to hide then don't do it outside!

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@Haviland

So now they know a) where you work b) where you live c) where your kids go to school/whatever

And then people wonder what is wrong with this...

I don't want the whole world knowing where I live, work etc...

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