Sunday, July 1, 2012

Google Street View is Putting Fear Into Some Populations on Earth

If you think your privacy isn't safe online, you'd be right, but what you may not realize is that your privacy in the real world is also now in jeopardize in the same way. At least that's how some people see it, although as a pilot I have a different view. You see, I'm talking about Google Earth, and all of the new features which allow for 3-D viewing from different angles, and at extremely close range, as in right into your backyard, or the types of cars you have in your driveway.

In fact, I bet someone could invent an algorithm which could identify the type of car by the body shape in your driveway, and that information could be sold to automakers so that they could take your address, and send you coupons for their latest models. Competing companies may send you coupons, or invite you to test drive one of their new vehicles instead.

Of course, that's just one of the potential eventualities or outcomes of such robust aerial view technology which is used by Google Earth, there are many more and it wouldn't take a creative genius to figure many more in just a few minutes of brainstorming, and if you can do that, you can bet other entrepreneurs already are.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times on June 8, 2012 titled; "Swiss Court Orders Modifications to Google Street View," by Kevin J. O'Brien and David Steitfeld which stated;

"Switzerland's highest court upheld Google's basic right to document residential street fronts with its Street View technology, but imposed some limitations on the kinds of images the company can take. The ruling leaves the service legally intact in Switzerland, which has some of the strictest privacy safeguards in the world. Swiss regulators and Google both said they were pleased with the decision."

Now then, this is to be expected. Why you ask - because this recent technology caught everyone off-guard and there is a fear-factor to be expected. That's too bad really, beautiful country, too bad they won't share, but privacy is a human concern, some believe a right. This ruling shouldn't surprise us otherwise they'd have outlawed people taking pictures on vacation and posting them on websites. Personally, I think the Swiss missed the boat, and could have really done well with this on the tourism front, but just allowing it all.

You see, there is both good and bad with such disruptive technology, and it's not as if this information isn't already available by anyone who owns an airplane with a really good telephoto lens. They could easily fly around and take pictures of your property, although it would be cost prohibitive to do so unless it was really necessary, or unless they were the paparazzi and could sell those photos because who knows maybe you are famous like me (just kidding).

Nevertheless, what you park in your driveway, your backyard, and other various things around your house are no longer secret to anyone anywhere on the planet. They'll know if you have solar panels, new paint on your house, the types of shrubbery in your yard, and all of the things that realtors call curb appeal. You don't have any secrets anymore, not around your house, and certainly not on the Internet. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Internet Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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