Pro-privacy initiatives are getting out of hand

Don Reisinger is taking a stand on privacy. Will you?

At the risk of sounding like a Google apologist ( which I am blatantly not ), why are all these people making such a fuss over Google Street View? Can't they get a grip and realize that, contrary to their megalomania, no one really cares what their home looks like and few (if any) people are looking up their address to see inside their bathroom windows on Street View?

According to Google , the company did not invade a family's privacy by taking pictures of their home for Google Street View.

"Plaintiffs' privacy claims fail, among other reasons, because the view of a home from the driveway that can be seen by any visitor, delivery person, or telephone repairman is not private," the company said in response to the suit, according to a copy posted at The Smoking Gun.

"Today's satellite-image technology means that...complete privacy does not exist," Google said in its response to the complaint. "Plaintiffs live in the 21st century United States, where every step upon private property is not deemed by law to be an actionable trespass...Unless there is a clear expression such as a gate, fence, or 'keep out' sign indicating that the public is not permitted to enter, anyone may approach a home by a walkway, driveway, or any other route commonly used by visitors, without liability for trespass."

Of course, the family Google allegedly caused "mental suffering" to disagrees.

According to the plaintiffs, Aaron and Christine Boring, Google's Street View pictures hurt the value of their home and due to all that awful "mental suffering", they want $25,000.

Please.

Can the privacy loons please stand up? Once up, please sit down and shut up.

Enough is enough. How many times do we have to be inundated with ridiculous stories like this before someone finally says what most of us should be thinking: the pro-privacy initiative is being taken too far.

While I totally understand if a family doesn't want to have someone in their window taking pictures while they're showering, you mean to tell me that it's an invasion of privacy when Google takes a picture of your home?

As the company points out quite clearly, anyone can drive by your home and see it in all its glory without the help of Street View, so what's the problem?

Look, I'm the first to say that privacy is an important issue and I've repeatedly taken ISPs and cell phone companies to task for the way they have acted on privacy issues in the past, but this is taking it too far.

Google Street View is nothing more than a service that allows people to see what a street looks like before they go there. It aides you in finding out where to park, what a building looks like, and even helps you decide if that's a neighborhood that you would want to live in.

But does it invade your privacy and somehow make it easy to be targeted by a "bad person"? Uh, no.

Sorry to tell you this, but if someone really wants to find you, they're not going to need Google Street View to do it. And believe it or not, that's probably not even the first place they'll look.

All I ever hear from these pro-privacy dolts is that anything that involves, well, anything even close to a person's privacy, is off-limits. I have a newsflash, folks: that's not true.

Google has every right in the world to take 360-degree photos of a street if it's in the community's best interest and if you ask me, it most certainly is.

Some obviously believe that Street View will help burglars pick their next target and others are of the opinion that it gives the public a full view of our lives during the most intimate moments.

Hogwash.

Everything Google Street View captures you can see for yourself walking down the street. Girls in bikinis on Street View? See it for yourself driving down the street. Joe Q. Public walking down the street? I see it everyday doing the same thing. Front lawns that aren't trimmed? Look out the front window.

Google Street View gives us the ability to see everything we can see (and less) walking down the street. But just because it's on the Web, we're supposed to believe that it's an invasion of privacy?

What a crock.

Check out Don's Digital Home podcast, Twitter feed, and FriendFeed!

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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