Milkman thinks that Google Street View is just online shopping for burglars
Not this old chestnut again? Sadly, yes. Some milkman who used to manage Bradford Park Avenue FC has pondered out loud, and somehow managed to make it onto the pages of various press publications about the chances of Google Street View playing a key role in a series of attempted burglaries on his home.
Gordon Rayner thinks that burglars may have used Street View to peer into his garage and steal the contents. Of course, Street View hasn't developed an X Ray Map, but rather, his garage door was wide open when one of Google's cameramobiles rode through the streets of Bradford.
"People need to be aware of this: it's a serious invasion of privacy," Rayner tells The Register. "It's basically shopping online for these crooks."
Google, like with most people, blurred out his face and car's licence plate, but not the open garage.
Since then, someone has made off with his £350 bicycle and made other, unsuccessful attempts at breaking-in. This has left Rayner considering legal action against Google. I don't know how serious he is, but the fact he's got a bike worth £350 and is moaning about it and Google have probably got electric hover-unicorns that run on rainbow moisture, he'd be advised to have a big think about how his legal team would match up against theirs. It's not fair, but it is the way of the world.
Of course, one key issue here is that Google are more than willing to blur out anything you like at request.
"We do remove homes when requested, and always have," a company spokesman said. Each Street View pic includes a "report a problem" link for requesting removals.
Naturally, Rayner was completely unaware of this. In fact, he wasn't even aware that his house was on Street View until his neighbour's son pointed out the photo after the burglary had happened.
A Google spokesman told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: “The imagery on Street View is no different to what anyone could readily capture or see by travelling down the street themselves. We’ve now launched Street View in around 20 countries and nowhere has there been any increase in crime as a result.”
Do you think that Street View is an invasion of your privacy, or do you only use it to wander around places you used to live to see if still looks the same?