back to article Cat owner protests against privacy-invading Google

Google has raised fresh privacy concerns in the US, thanks to its new Street View service on its maps. It is apparently not enough that the advertising broker would like to find your next job for you, or tell you what you might want to do at the weekend, now it wants to peer into your living rooms. Oakland California resident …


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  1. krakead

    Turn the tables

    Maybe someone should take the time to find the houses of all of Google's board or directors and take some pictures - actually lots of pictures - and post them. See if they're happy to have the same exposure as they're imposing on everyone else.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can see her pussy.

    "Is it practical or even desirable to regulate this? Consider how many tourist snaps the average Londoner appears in. And ask yourself: when you travel abroad, do you seek permission of everyone standing under the local landmark before you take your holiday photos?"

    It is already regulated.

    "Publicity and Privacy Rights of Individuals

    You may need permission to photograph people due to state laws giving individuals privacy and publicity rights.

    "Most states in the US recognize that individuals have a right of privacy. The right of privacy gives an individual a legal claim against someone who intrudes on the individual's physical solitude or seclusion, and against those who publicly disclose private facts. Unless you have permission, avoid publishing or distributing any photo of an individual that reveals private facts about the individual (particularly if revealing those private facts might embarrass the individual).

    "Almost half the states in the US recognize that individuals have a right of publicity. The right of publicity gives an individual a legal claim against one who uses the individual's name, face, image, or voice for commercial benefit without obtaining permission. In case you are wondering how the news media handle this, newspapers and news magazines have a "fair use" privilege to publish names or images in connection with reporting a newsworthy event.

    "Be particularly careful about celebrities. Using a photograph of a celebrity for your own commercial gain - for example, posting a photo you took of Clint Eastwood on your business's marketing material or Web site - is asking for a lawsuit, even if you took the photograph when you ran into Clint on a public street.

    "Commercial photographers avoid right of publicity/privacy lawsuits by obtaining photographic releases from people shown in the their shots. If you are considering selling your photos or using them on your Web site, you may want to do the same. The Multimedia Law and Business Handbook contains a sample release. Experienced performers and models are accustomed to signing these releases."

  3. William


    It's ironic that now not only does the Internet have a blurry picture of a window with a hint of a cat behind it, but also a clear picture of both the cat and the owner from inside the flat! Not to say she doesn't have a right to complain or anything: I know I wouldn't want a random shot of a room of my house appearing on the Internet (not a problem, really, since I live South of Nowhere).

  4. Hans

    Who Says They Aren't?


    <quote> She told the NYT: " . . . If the government was doing this, people would be outraged."

    and what makes Mary Kalin-Casey think for one minute that the Government aren't doing this?

    Though I doubt for one second whether they will actually bother to watch cats . . . unless, of course, the cat was acting suspiciously.

  5. Craig

    Pussy Cat

    "Casey's cat Monty was still staring out of her window for all the world to see."

    Very close boys, a fantastic show of restraint.

    How's about if …. Google offer and facial recognition service to find and locate your own face?

  6. Craig


    Sorry and girls ;o)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Somewhere along the line I think I lost the focus as to what "casey" was complaining about.

  8. James Summerson

    You missed a trick.

    Surely the headline 'Woman Shocked By Google Pussy Display' would get more hits in a Mrs Slocombe-esque turn of punnery?

    We've had a very happy 10 minutes or so cackling through the various permutations, so thanks for that, El Reg!

  9. Hans

    and another thing

    <quote> "The same cannot be said of an ordinary bloke who gets snapped standing outside a porn shop".

    I am somewhat dismayed at the sexist attitude shown by El Reg here.

    Don't you guys (and guyesses) realise that, in this day and age, women have an equal right to get snapped standing outside a porn shop?

  10. Danny

    is it me or....

    is it the fact that us Dutch are considered so liberal?

    i couldn't care less even if they had a snap of me standing in the red light district, smoking a joint, who cares?

    hehe, next time the satelite flies over, i'll be sure to wave!

  11. Tom Brazier

    The more interesting story... just down the street. If you look South along Bellevue Avenue, there is a building being consumed by a Martian death ray.

  12. Rob


    But surely by appearing in the NYT she has corrupted her own argument as now she is in a picture with her cat standing in her flat for all the public to see, so that would mean by consenting to the story she has choosen a public life.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clandestine Communications

    This would be a great way to communicate using items, signs, text, etc... in the pictures??

    Anyway, I think there are some privacy concerns and the article is right, if the Govt. were doing this there would be a riot (at least in the US) I gave no one permission to steal my soul and put it on the Internet.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just like walking down the street

    Google are correct, it is just like walking down the street and glancing into a window. That is if you happen to be walking down the street with a whole load of digital imaging gear, recording everything you see, then uploading it onto the internet, with search facilities.

    Oh, hang on a sec, that's nothing like "just walking down the street and glancing into a window" and come to think of it, far more like an invasion of privacy.

  15. Richard Johnson

    photographs in public places

    As a keen amateur photographer, the idea of "regulating" the taking of photographs in public places fills me with horror. Would I have to apply for a licence each time I venture out of doors with my camera? Would I have to ask permission of every person who might possible stray within reach of my camera? What a ridiculous idea.

    The fact is, a public place is a public place. If you go there, other people can see you. That's how public places work. If you are worried about someone seeing you going into a lap dancing bar, then either don't go into such a place or devise a cunning disguise.

  16. Lee Staniforth


    ... and mentioning this to a paper that takes a photo of you INSIDE your house isn't invading your privacy???

    Who says the Americans don't understand irony, eh?

  17. Mike Richards

    Counting the hours...

    Until the Home Office announces funding for British streets to be digitised on an hourly basis. Done properly this could be John Reid's wet dream - sorry for that imagery.

  18. J

    Caught in the act

    "The same cannot be said of an ordinary bloke who gets snapped standing outside a porn shop."

    And the guy might just have been there waiting for the bus, or just walking by, to begin with, or something! Asking for directions in the shop? Or at least that's what he will claim.

    It's like when people say "yesterday I was just zapping and happened to see this on Oprah..." Yeah, zapping. :-)


  19. J

    More photos here

    It is auf Deutsch (Der Spiegel magazine), but I guess everyone can understand the pics anyway... Porn store, strip club, nose-picking, bikini clad girls (not all at the same time!), all to be found here:,1518,486100,00.html

    (click on the little pics and a "slide show" starts)



  20. Connor Garvey

    Get real

    Of all the evil things corporations do with our personal data and our money, why do people (and the Reg) pick on Google?

    Nobody cares about your cat. If you don't want people looking in your windows, close the blinds. If I happened to be standing in front of my window in my knickers when the Google mobile drove by, I'd say, "I shouldn't have been standing in front of my window in my undies with the blinds open." Or, "If I didn't want people to see me going into the porn shop, I shouldn't have gone into the porn shop." What a crazy bitch.

  21. heystoopid

    This reminds me

    This reminds me of a tale of one very dumb security guard at a soon to be demolished oil refinery at tax payer expense(they have already received a large prepayment of taxpayer money adequate to replace the entire refinery infrastructure with newer technology as it was originally built in the early sixties and has reached the end of it's economic life at the end of the last century) and several amateur photographers from a well respected local Amateur Photographic Club well known for it's annual photographic essays of the local landscape eg sunrise sunset and skyline changes etc! , not exactly terrorist material!

    Sadly , this overblown gestapo wanker in uniform , forgot one simple basic fact the moment he stepped outside the refinery property line , he had no further authority to act or enforce the laws an any shape or form!

    But then again , think of what Google can do with all the live mobile phone pings , web and surveillance camera feeds around the world , allied to the next intel powered home super computer , one can literally track any person of interest anywhere in the world , without leaving home! Stalkers of the world will never have to leave home or come anywhere near the court order exclusion zones!

  22. wim

    RE This reminds me

    Stalkers of the world will never have to leave home or come anywhere near the court order exclusion zones!

    If stalkers would stay inside all the time do you still call them stalkers ?

    Maybe information retrieval specialists would be a better name then ?

  23. Keith Langmead

    What about child protection?

    Considering how so many people / organisations go on and on about anything even slightly related to child protection, I'm suprised no one has picked up on that angle yet!

    Considering how parents aren't allowed camera in school plays, and how if you go to an event which includes children you have to register if you want to use a camera, surely this comes under the same category. How hard would it be to look through windows or into gardens to see images of children? Surely this would be even more dangerous than anything else, after all, you can see where the child lives, and they're likely to be somewhat more vulnerable than being dressed up as a shepherd at the school play!

  24. Alex


    I think that the only really amazing thing about this story is that the cat didn't sense the camera and do a back flip and start industriously washing its arse. In fact, I consider this to be a horrible lapse on the cats part.

  25. Tom

    Child protection?

    The majority of molested children are the victimized by relatives and close friends of the family. Most kidnapped children are abducted by a parent in a custody dispute.

    Don't worry about Google. Worry about your relatives, friends and spouse.

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