back to article Daily Mail rails at Street View in women's refuge wrongness

The Daily Mail has launched an attack on Google Street View, following claims that the search giant's service reveals the location of a womens' refuge. However, a leading UK support organisation told El Reg that Google has gone out of its way to keep the locations of its safe houses off Street View. This suggests that the Mail …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "the Mail's strident argument that 'Something' is putting 'Something Else' at risk is more than a little exaggerated."

    That is all you ever need to know in reference to the Mail.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      You'd think they'd love street view

      Daily Mail readers are clearly nosy and judgemental. What better tool is there than street view to confirm their predjudices. Now some judgemental whingebag can virtually cruise through Compton street looking for homosexuals or along East Ham high street looking for halal butchers, or along roads plotting positions of all the speed cameras.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    The daily mail exaggerating? Say it is not so!

  3. Wommit
    Paris Hilton


    Google DOES sell individual users data. It just sells lots of individual users data all at once.

  4. Graham Marsden

    This is the Daily Mail...

    ... since when did the facts have anything to do with one of our rants?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing images...

    If the safe houses are removed from streetview, if you know there is one in a town/city all you would have to do is search for the missing images on streetview. Now, thats no small task but some people are crazy enough to do this.

    The safe houses I guess do not have any neon signs advertising they are safe houses thus the best thing to do would be include them in google streetview and no-one would be any the wiser.

  6. Alister Silver badge

    Who would you trust?

    On balance, I have to say I think Google probably "do less evil" than the Daily Mail.

    Mine's the flame-proof asbestos b(cough, cough) one over there...

  7. Pete 2

    Time to stop quoting "The Wail"?

    How about a new years resolution: We will all stop trawling the Daily Wail for alarmist, xenophobic, ill-informed or pessimistic items, where it's impossible to tell where facts stop and opinions begin. Instead we will only use material they supply which is confirmed by an independent source, has allowed enough time (say, a week) to pass for them to issue retractions, corrections, denials, apologies and damages. Finally we will limit references to pieces of their journalism which are fair, balanced, optimistic and true.

    And the world will be a happier place. Ahhhhh!

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Why bother putting up an article based on the opinion of the Daily Mail at all? They are about as useful as the opinions of compulsive liars and you certainly wouldn't post articles sourced from them.

    Honestly, let's try and give the ramblings of the Mail as small an audience as possible.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      I'm no fan of Google...

      ...but I'd have to agree with that one.

    2. paulf Silver badge

      letters and or digits cannot come to the subject right now - please hold

      So if El Reg stops getting alarmist, {$ism}phobic, ill informed, pessimistic items from the Heil, and adheres to all other parts of your resolution; that means a complete end to any and all stories on El Reg inspired by articles in the Daily Fail because all stories in the Heil will trip over at least one of those hurdles.

      I can't help thinking that could be a good thing, but it will deprive us of the sheer morbid amusement that this window into how the Wail keeps trotting out its train wreck codswallop but calling it Journalism, provides.

      Pint. I'll drink to your resolution anyway as its Friday. The beer is affecting my memory though - is it curing or causing cancer this week?

  9. Rob Crawford

    I'm confused

    How does streetview give away the location of womens refuges?

    No I'm seriously wondering how.

    I assume that very few refuges have banners or signs declaring that it's a refuge.

    Faces are blurred and I certainly wouldn't know hw to tell if the blurred individuals where women requiring protection from an abusive partner (or family member) or a woman who isn't.

    I assume that anybody who would recognise the refuge would already know where the said refuge is located.

    I however am pleased that google have put some thought into the matter (unlike the Mail).

    Surely a blank spot on a map is a pointer that there is something of interest (like the blank sections of the OS maps to keep military establishments secret)

  10. Steve 13


    I've seen this story in the mainstream national press as well. What isn't clear from anywhere is how exactly google identified the building as being a refuge.

    Presumably it must have been a business listing somewhere, google aren't in the habit of stopping their orwellian spy mobiles and nipping into every building they pass to ask what it's for.

    This strikes me as a complete non story, probably with an element of fabrication, since google will remove an image if you use the 'report this' link.

  11. Bruno Girin

    Some witty title here

    "the Mail's strident argument [...] is more than a little exaggerated". Surely not?

  12. sandman

    Mail Strapline

    I'm slightly surprised they don't use "Be afraid, be very afraid" every day.

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Mike Richards

    The question only the Mail can answer

    Does using Street View give you cancer?

  15. Jeremy 2


    "We hold no brief for Google Street View but the Mail has really gone out on a limb on this one"

    And you're surprised about this because..........? This is the Daily Make-it-up we're talking about here.

    Anyway, they've missed the bigger picture, like how does Google (not) revealing the locations of refuges affect middle-class taxation and house prices? Daily Mail readers have to know these things!

    1. Ian Yates


      Have they finished compiling their lists yet?

      List 1: Things that give you cancer

      List 2: Things that don't


      1. Daniel Evans

        Wait a second...

        I thought List 2 was named "things not yet proven to cause cancer, although the Daily Mail heavily suspects they do"?

      2. Rich 30


        lets not forget

        List 3: Things which help prevent Alzheimer's

      3. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

        the worrying thing is...

        ... the number of things that appear in both lists!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I thought thay had diffrent parts in the Fail

          Most papers have sport, world news, letter etc

          1) Things that give you cancer

          2) Things that stop cancer/alzheimer's

          3) Princess Diana!

          4) Stuff wot brown people have done

          5) Finance. How your house and/or pension has changed in value in a bad way because of 1-4.

  16. TheRealRoland

    Opels... or?


    Or are the Google Mobiles imported from the mainland?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Having seen one with mine own eyes:

      They are Opels, albeit right hand drive ones, same as the ones sold in Ireland and Cyprus.

      1. Badbob

        Opels and not always RHD.

        The one which snapped a photo of me slacking off work in my van in the lovely village of Crawford, South Lanarkshire was a red LHD Opel Astra with a Spanish numberplate.

        One assumes the corporate entity got a job lot from Opel and distributed them in the proper configuration to the national entities. My Spanish one was probably surplus.

  17. Ian K

    How would Street View reveal locations?

    Presumably safe houses don't actually have large signs saying "Safe House - Property of Refuge Service XXX" on the front - part of the whole "safe" business is that they look just like any other house. No downside in appearing on Street View.

    If, on the other hand, it's the "public facing" side of the agency, with signs and all, it's not exactly secret in the first place.

  18. Tom 35 Silver badge

    But what about...

    All the schools on street view... and GASP playgrounds!

  19. JaitcH

    Google does nothing anyone else can't do.

    There is little Google does that can't be done by Joe Q. Public. I can't understand the exaggerated excitement around this subject.

    (a) They take pictures from public areas, so who can't? (b) They monitor a common frequency band that can be used by type approved equipment without a licence, so who can't?

    Most likely what is driving this is naive fools who haven't set their WiFi up properly. And Google is to blame?

    Worry about the fact that smart-phone manufacturers and Apps are STEALING your airtime, usually with most not knowing it, using YOUR SMART-PHONE to do EXACTLY what Google has done with WiFi.

    That makes you whining ninnies with smart-phones no better than Google - so quit the crocodile tears and activate the free WiFi security - using WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK security is best.

    1. Starkadder


      Street View take pictures the public could only take if they were on stilts. And you are forgetting that photographs of individual properties may, by themselves,not be significant, but photographs of properties taken from the air and from the street offer all sorts of information that the property owner might rather keep to themself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh I'm an IT geek

      and it is soooo bad that other people haven't done what I have.... wah wah wah...

      My mother woulden't have a clue what WPA2-PSK was. It is not the users fault, but the manufatures fault, and it is VERY RUDE to shout.

  20. Heff

    seems pretty obvious

    if google knew it was a womens refuge, they spidered/googled/databased/whatevered it, which means the information was freely available, which means your refuge sucks and your administrators are moronic.

    as for "declained to remove picture and information" Uh. doubt it. the streetview people take down pictures at the drop of a hat. they might have said something like "um, madam, this is Ad sales, I cant do that" though. Who cares? its the daily fail.

    Why is el reg even reading this drivel? you may as well debate News Of The World or the Daily Sport or something

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Moronic administrators

      "if google knew it was a womens refuge, they spidered/googled/databased/whatevered it, which means the information was freely available, which means your refuge sucks and your administrators are moronic."


      "Google consulted with Refuge prior to launching Street View and removed the locations of its safe houses. Refuge hasn't had any problems itself and believes the issue involves an independent safe house, a spokeswoman told El Reg."

      Did you read the article or were you looking at the Daily Mail???

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't blame the mail

    It is possible (unlikely I admit) that it's a Conservative MP who hasn't got a clue what he's on about.

    The Mail merely cited & exaggerated his comments.

    Alright, yes, blame the Mail for printing shite.

  22. Martin Lyne


    Streisand effect in full force. Want to know where a women's refuge is? Look for blanked out buildings in street view.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardly surprising of the Daily Mail to completely miss the point.

    I've never thumped a woman for abusing a man or a child, but I've thumped several men over the years, for abusing women or children. This is a function of me, not women, who hurt their children more than men do.

    As such, Erin Pizzy said half the women in refuges were as violent as the men they said they'd left, which means violence is a genetic cause. Violent brothers have violent sisters, mothers and fathers. (I speak from childhood experience,) and it means women were there because the men fought back (and social services' blind eye opened on the response, ignoring the initiator,) and not because the all men w6ere innately violent.

    So until we have the situation where the 50% of women in refuges who currently should be there ARE there, and the 50% of women who shouldn't, are wandering the streets looking for the refuges where the dads with their children are hiding, then I couldn't give a monkey's, because it's just social services, all carrying the liberal gene, unable to see the wood from the trees. As Lennon wrote, "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see." How I wish we could put engineers in charge of social services, alas, this would leave legions of the liberal minded unable to do anything for a living.

    My view is that if the number of racists in the police force, equalled the number of manhaters in social services, we'd have race riots on a daily basis, and I say that as someone who thinks it is men's job to protect the women folk, and make life easy for them.

    Step 1. Sit the head of social services down in front of a broken boiler, and if she couldn't fix it herself, demote her.

    Step 2. Sit the head of social services down in front of a broken computer, and if she couldn't fix it herself, demote her.

    Step 3. Ask the head of social services, what percentage of little african children we should let die, to preserve the first world, and if she completely ceased to function with such a tough question, demote her.

    Step 4. Propose all policies were re-written to use Men and Children instead of Women and Children, (obviously we're not going to do it,) but then demote everyone who objects.

    This would undoubtedly solve the problem, by removing morons from the top posts.

    1. Edagan


      "Men's job to protect the womenfolk"?

      Quite aside from the fact that violence and the effectiveness of social services aren't the point of the article, and therefore your misplaced rant here has an ironically Daily Mail feel about it, do you really believe this tripe you've offered here? Is it worth pointing out the whole 21St century thing, or are you just happier in the wild west?

      "I've thumped several men over the years, for abusing women or children."

      I just bet you have, you mighty hero, you.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel ashamed

    I've just read an on-line article about the Daily Mail criticising Google Street View. Let this be a lesson to us all, that the Internet is dragging our minds into the gutter.

  25. alain williams Silver badge

    Refuge actively causes harm as well as does some good

    I know far too many men who their ex had raced to a refuge claiming violence - when nothing of the sort has happened. They do it, snatch the kids and by the time it is sorted out and shown to be false the bloke has not seen his kids for months and so they stay with the woman -- which is what she wanted in the first place.

    I am not saying that some women aren't in a refuge for good reason - but not all are.

    Where are the refuges for men who are beaten up - just one in the country, in spite of what the headlines say, the real numbers are that each sex is about as violent as the other.

  26. DrXym Silver badge

    Daily Mail's modus

    1. Alarmist headline based on one of the rag's pet themes - councils, immigrants, cancer etc.

    2. A couple of paragraphs that try to shoehorn the story to fit the headline

    3. Filler paragraphs that feature only one side of the story

    4. A get out clause buried in last paragraph where the "other side" is told and basically reveals headline was complete bullshit

    It is a wonder that anyone reads this rag when it thinks so little of it's readers that it will say anything they want to hear regardless of reality.

  27. colind1961

    Colin Dutton

    I hate the Daily Mail for its fascist bigotry, but I also hate Google for wanting to accidentally, benevolently take over the world; but, which is worse? There's only one way to find out....

    1. g e

      and that's.. GOOGLEFIGHT!

      'The Daily Mail' 226000000 results

      "Google" 98300000 results


  28. James Woods

    so uhm

    Google is removing things from streetview. Why are they removing things from streetview? Because it's being deemed a security risk.

    So why can't all the people that think this is a horrible idea also get that protection?

    In the US we have "equal protection under the law".

    That hasn't worked with the recent healthcare bill since corporate america is getting a pass and small business is getting it up the butt however it's a start.

    There is no point in 'free speech' if that same speech is going to be censored. There is no point in having streetview to see everything when things are being removed.

    I know people are going to say the whitehouse and other places are on streetview however the whitehouse has mercenary's with machine guns and we the people do not.

  29. Graham Bartlett


    Genetic? How so? "Nature vs. nurture" could be either way if you're a child of violent parents.

    As someone who's bro-in-law has been screwed over by the CSA, I'm 100% behind your view that too much of social services is run by "manhaters". Oh, and if we're after gender equality then how about social services start affirmative action for men, since they're overwhelmingly staffed by women?

    But this doesn't change the fact that a lot of women in refuges are there for a very good reason - they're afraid for their lives, or for the lives of their children. I *would* care if there was no support available for these women.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019