back to article Street View threatens to throw Eurostrop

A senior Google exec yesteday suggested that if the company doesn't get its way over Street View data retention, it may stop prowling the European Union's highways and byways. Speaking to Bloomberg at CeBIT, where Street View has been charming Germans with a fleet of touchy-feely spymobiles, Google Earth founder Michael Jones …


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  1. John Lilburne Silver badge

    Bye bye

    Mind the door doesn't hit you on the arse on your way out.

  2. Stu Kennedy


    Does anybody actually care about Street View?

    What purpose does it serve?

  3. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Makes perfect sense

    ***"A senior Google exec yesteday suggested that if the company doesn't get its way over Street View data retention, it may stop prowling the European Union's highways and byways"***

    A bit like a mugger saying "If you don't give me all of your cash and valuables I'm going to stab myself".

    1. Neil 23

      I've used it quite a bit recently

      whilst flat-hunting. Estate agents are loath to post external pictures of properties so it's saved me visiting quite a few places that I wouldn't be interested in

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge


      When I applied for vehicle insurance over the phone the man looked on Street View to confirm I had off-street parking.

      I've found it useful for checking out where people live before visiting -- is there parking? Which door is it? Even - what time does the parking restrictions end?

      Saves a lot of messing about at times.

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        I use it

        I'm quite an admirer of buildings and architecture, and have used Street View quite a bit to have a butchers at various locations, usually rough modernist housing estates! It's probably saved me a few random muggings/looking like a nerd!

      2. Just Thinking


        "When I applied for vehicle insurance over the phone the man looked on Street View to confirm I had off-street parking."

        That's quite good of them. Don't they usually wait until you make a claim before they check if you told the truth on your application?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You actually bought from those people?

        If I were to apply for vehicle insurance over the phone, and the guy looked on Street View to verify details, he'd find my house isn't there. I live in a private road.

        That might mean that he wouldn't be prepared to sell me insurance. Happily, I wouldn't be interested in buying it from him by then anyway - better to go with someone reputable.

    3. BigRedS

      I quite like it

      I use it when planning routes to avoid having to take maps - I can see what it is that's at that right turn I need to take. I can check parking restrictions, and see what the place I'm looking for actually looks like. Further, I can confirm that it is actually where the postcode/door number combination infers it is.

      I find it really quite useful, and would miss it if it went.

      I'd also like to be able to look forward to resurrecting the imagery in 30 years or so to see how much has changed, but it appears there's privacy concerns there (which appear to not exist for the photos of 1930s Hendon that used to be all over my doctor's waiting room).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just go

    Sod off and don't come back. I've got Multimap, I've got Streetmap - I don't need evil black cars with cameras bolted on the rood coming down my street.

    The plot of land next to my house is marked on Google maps with the name of a park which was across the road fifty years ago, but no longer exists.

  5. FlatSpot


    Bye then... we'll survive without Street View... interesting how big corps from US always think they can just muscle their way around Europe, obviously didnt learn anything from Microsoft's mauling!

    Google will be next.

    Hope the EU stands firm, as opposed to UK gov who would happily allow anything for a nice well paid job after the election.

  6. Bumhug

    Simple solution

    2 cars

    First car drives a few hundred yards ahead of the second car. First car doesnt have a camera on top but a loudspeaker. First car has a passanger that warns people that the second car is on its way and people should close their blinds, move away from the porn shop, stop urinating in the street, or stop trying to break into a property.

    Yes this would be more expensive, but as its google the first car could also play adverts enabling google to reach people who dont have access to internet or use ad blocker of some sort

    Plus would give every one ample time to drop trou and let the second car know what we think of it

  7. Anonymous Coward

    About time....

    That is the best news ever.... What is the time scale for them to bu**er off.

  8. Geoff Campbell

    @Stu Kennedy

    I use Street View loads, to locate customer premises. I don't think I'd miss it if it suddenly ceased to exist, but then the same is true of most modern technology, really.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Bye Bye....

    ...just think UKIP could undo all this good work.

    Google, here's your ball back, now go back home to mummy.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    seen through a marketeer (or even a burglar's, or even a spooks) eyes is quite different.

    You glazing. Your car. The roof. Your gates. Your door. Your alarm. Your neighbours. Your garden. The state of general repair. Children's toys in the garden?

    A relative even had the contents of their garage shared with the world (the door being open when Googles car went past).

    Suddenly it doesn't seem such a smart idea for a photo of your house to be accessible to the world and his dog.

    I don't want my house on Google Streetview for personal privacy and security reasons.

    And I don't want to hand another country a photographic database of the residential and commercial buildings for national security and economic reasons.

    I just wish we had the same common sense that Germans seem to have. I guess they teach history properly in German schools.

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Big Brother


      That would be really Orwellian!

      "Citizens! Get off the streets now if you don't want to be captured for ever on the google-base! Put away your tackle, stop vomiting and hide your faces!" and so on.

    2. Steve X
      Thumb Down

      who cares?

      > You glazing. Your car. The roof. Your gates. Your door. Your alarm. Your neighbours. Your garden. The state of general repair. Children's toys in the garden?

      Who cares, really? Everyone who drives past my house, or rides the bus every day, can see into my garden, and my living room. If I cared I'd put up a 6ft fence. Streetview sees a one-off moment in time, in the case of my house it's from 6 months ago. Most crooks are local, if they wanted to break in they'd wander by with a camera when I was out one day, not use some low-res image from goodness knows how long ago.

      The world is a public place. I'm not going to go out with a bag over my head in case "THEY" know where I'm going, not do I care if someone from the other side of the world thinks "hey, that lazy sod should mow his lawn", and if I were daft enough to stand naked in the garden fscking the dog then I'd deserve the ridicule I'd get.

      As for national security, you can bet that any country interested in commecial buildings already has their own satellite imagery of it. You think that, say, Israel is going to rely on Google Earth to see how the yanks are building their new London embassy? :)

    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Simple solution

      Sounds expensive having two cars though.

      Surely it would make more sense to have a bloke with a red flag* walk a defined distance in front of the car? That would keep the speed down and ensure that everyone had plenty of time to zip up their fly or whatever.

      Some problems have already been solved in the past.

      *That, or possibly ringing a bell and shouting "Unclean"......

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Paris Hilton

        Hang on - i've got it!....

        Ditch the Orwellian Opels and get some Funk-tastic Orwellian stretch Limos insted! Have the driver at the front, obviously, telling the public via PA system to "get out the area" while at the back you have the big sticky up pole thing with the cameras on!

        Drive the things round at a slow speed (normal driving speed in central London) problem solved!

        Plus they could also be hired out to both celebs and paparazzi simultaneously...

        celebs go to swanky party in the back of limo, cameras angled down to knicker angle by tabloid snappers, public get to see the back alleys behind nightclubs at 3am and celeb homes on Street view - everyone's happy and its less cars on the road, well kind of!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        well said

        you just saved me a load of typing.

        thank you very much!!!!

  11. Ivan Slavkov

    Bye bye and good riddance

    They are welcome to. Bye bye and good riddance.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Google go get F****d

    Just why a private for profit company based in the USA would want to photograph and record all the streets and roads in Europe is not clear to me. I can see the intelligence use of such a database. Easy to prepare for that raid on suspect 101.

    I certainly don't want a yankee spy wagon photographing my property and grounds. You'd be a bit concerned if some bloke arrived at your place and proceeded to photograph it from various angles, telling you that they where going to publish it for every scroat to see, but because it is a big mercan corporation, it is OK? Not by me its not!

  13. Gulfie

    Strop away!

    Listen - listen to that silence. That's the sound of nobody caring. Now sod off back to the USA and take your invasion of every aspect of our lives with you...

    1. max allan

      You don't think they're just trying to be helpful maybe?

      Why does everyone have all this bad attitude.

      Would you rather a "yankee spy wagon" drove round taking photos or that they just did it from space with a satellite and said "F*** you we can do what we want anyway" ?

      They don't photograph your house from any angle that someone can't see it while walking/driving past. So what you're really saying is that you're so ashamed of your house that you'd rather nobody saw it.

      The "intelligence" use is useless for most purposes but the most general individual uses rather than police / military action.

      Get over your selves luddites.

      "Oh no chaps, steam engines are taking all our jobs. In a hundred years we'll all be out of work and reduced to whining on forums about stuff that we can't change"

      1. John Lilburne Silver badge

        Er no.

        The point of all of this is to keep you on Google sites for longer where they get more opportunities to shove ads at you.

        1. Marty

          @ john Lilburne

          that is a nonsense argument.

          fist, if you are that apposed to adverts you most likely be using adblock or one of its elk... and second, google provide services for free, its costs must be funded from somewhere. so let there be ads....

      2. Anonymous Coward

        I can tell you why

        It is because the small time criminals are nowdays computer literate and are using both this and Google earth to plan their next raid. While google Earth is a wonderful tool up to street resolution, it has very few non-criminal use from there onwards.

  14. petur
    Thumb Down


    Will miss them if they go, used the service quite some times, very handy if you go to places for the first time, saves a lot of wasted time trying to orientate there....

  15. lukewarmdog

    Street Unview

    Google really think they're our parents. I wouldn't mind if they'd "lend" me some money and give me lifts to concerts, until then they're going to have to treat us as adults with genuine concerns about their policies.

  16. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Don't let...

    anything stop you from leaving. Do it now... immediately. Just ship them off... I'm sure the US Army will be more than willing to offer you a rid on one of their big big transporters.

    Have fun in mvland

  17. Anonymous Coward


    "A senior Google exec yesteday suggested that if the company doesn't get its way over Street View data retention, it may stop prowling the European Union's highways and byways."

    Fine with me =O/

  18. Tom 15

    Better than Multimap

    Multimap, i.e. Bing, fly low-altitude aeroplanes over your houses and take pictures of your back gardens, through skylights, etc. All StreetView does is take a picture from the main road, the same stuff that everyone can see.

  19. Just Thinking

    Limited use

    I can imagine Streetview might be of some use in areas such as a high street or industrial estate, particularly if the images are updated reasonably often. You can have a look at a resturant before you book, or check that the firm you are about to mail-order from really do have a warehouse.

    There isn't so much expectation of privacy in these areas. If you live in a flat above a shop you are probably used to people gawping in from the top of the bus, so Streetview doesn't make much difference.

    But why do they need to photograph every house in every quiet cul-de-sac? That is what upsets people, and if they just stopped doing it they might have a useful and uncontentious service.

    Mounting a camera on a pole and photographing over someones fence, publishing an image which can't normally be seen from the street, well that's getting a bit sinister.

  20. Robert E A Harvey

    it's all been said

    But someone threatening to stop doing what we don't want them to do anyway isn't going to excite me very much.

    Technically possible /= worthwhile

  21. Anonymous Coward

    So long, ...

    ...and thanks for all the pics

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Have you never heard of a map?

      Or perhaps asking directions?

      You sound like the type of person who will blindly follow a satnav off a cliff...

      If you honestly need this technology to find were your going, instead of just, at the most, using the google maps satellite imagery then you seriously need to take an orienteering course...

      1. CD001

        I'm sorry...

        I have testicles I am genetically incapable of asking for directions!

      2. Jon 52


        Most maps will not tell you that the place you are looking for is two doors down from a pet shop, or oposite the dry cleaners.

        When driving it is so much easier to have seen it all before than just try to look at the street name of every street you pass, paticulaly if the car behind thinks 30mph is the target not the limit.

      3. Marty

        @ lglethal

        i suppose you teach your kids how to use log table books and slide rules....

        In todays world, the one that gets ahead is the one who embraces new technogy and applies it in areas previously un thought of...

        i have often used google street view to take a look around an area i am about to visit, mainly because satnav can be a little beit un reliable...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Street View vs Google Earth

    Some commentators are got Street View mixed up with Google Earth. Street View bad (unless it's pictures of The Stig) while Google Earth is the tops of people's heads (unless they're sun bathing sunny side up.)

    I'm not sure someone would appreciate me taking pictures of the contents of their garage. Luckily I don't have one.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    We got to keep the the images for 12 months because the tech is crap

    That's like implementing a shoddy database now instead of when the tech works.

    Someone at the Gorg doesn't get it.

  24. url
    Thumb Down

    pull out, pull out

    of china

    of germany

    of the EU

    yeah yeah, think we heard this before.

    GOOG isn't a government, and they don't play well at that level it appears.

    They should probably get back to wave, or squared, or any on that increasingly large to-do list of failed products.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Sod Off Street View

    Go then - go into the rubbish pit of history. And the sooner the better.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Show me the money!

    The reason Google want to do this is to raise ad revenue. If Google want to make money from photographing my property, then I want my cut. If you're not going to give me money for photo's of my property then sod off.

  27. Dabooka Silver badge

    I must confess...

    I'm struggling to give a shit. If it's such a problem, sod off.

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

      I recommend

      "I must confess....I;m struggling to give a shit."

      ExLax. Works a treat. Or bran cereals if you want to stay regular once the initial bung is cleared.

      Sorry? Street What? Haven't they gone back to the Land Of Donuts yet?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news

    Who needs Big Brother Google anyway?

  29. jake Silver badge

    I'm no fan of google ... Far from it.

    But the maps bit? I have no issue.

    I can get more useful info from ordinance survey maps and a quick drive-by ... and when you think about it, without that ability to do a quick drive-by, google is fucking useless to anyone who might have a plan to harm you and yours. Why? I'm glad you asked ...

    It's because they need PHYSICAL ACCESS to your local area to harm you ... and anyone who is likely to burgle your place (or whatever) ALREADY has that physical access, and is highly unlikely to use (probably) out of date google photos to help with that physical access.

    Case in point ... eyeball the South East corner of 5th Street East @ Patton, here in Sonoma CA. There is a large house there, it was given away in a nationwide HGTV network raffle (read "advertisement"). According to google, it doesn't exist, despite the fact that it was advertised nationwide for nearly a year.

    google isn't something I'd want to use to plan something nefarious with ... ESPECIALLY not if I actually had feet on the ground in the area where I was planning on breaking the law. And if I don't have my feet on the ground there, how am I going to physically access it?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      The difference

      The difference is that with Street View you can find the easy marks from the comfort of your living room. True you would obviously do a walk/drive by later before you go and try to break into the house (just to check the house is still there!) but you dont need to look over the fence or stop the car for that.

      But if you go walking down a quiet residential street peering over peoples fences/slowing the car down to get a better look at a prospective house that tends to get noticed by people and your face or car is likely to be remembered and when the burglary comes along the cops have a description of someone who was looking "suspicious" in the area.

      That makes a huge difference on your likelihood of getting caught...


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