Google Street View has been the subject of controversy overseas, especially in the U.K. Street View has been fully embraced in the United States and has even been used to stop crimes. But in the U.K. privacy groups have been reportedly wanting to have the service shut down within a few days after the service launched. Street View launched in the U.K. on March 19.
A lobby group in the U.K. called Privacy International filed a complaint to the Information Commissioner (ICO). The PI wants to have Street View suspended until ICO investigates the service.
“We agree with the concerns over privacy,” stated Google CEO Eric Schmidt. “The way we address it is by allowing people to opt out, literally to take anything we capture that is inappropriate out,” he said “and we do it as quickly as we possibly can.”
Recently several angry villagers in Buckinghamshire created a human chain to prevent a Google Street View car from taking pictures of their neighborhood. Resident Paul Jacobs quickly confronted the driver and put together an impromptu mob. The mob quickly surrounded the black Opal Astra car driving around to take pictures. The Astra had to turn around and leave because of the mob. Jacobs went as far as calling Street View a “burglar’s dream.”
In that same neighborhood there were about three cases of breaking and entering within the last six weeks. That neighborhood was paranoid that Street View would help facilitate these crimes.
Late last month, Google Street View in the U.K. caught an image of a man regurgitating in the middle of the street in London after leaving a stag party. Google Street View U.K. also found Waldo waving at the cameras.