Now that the Google car has been to our neighbourhood, we can — almost — see our house on Google Street View. For some reason, the view switches over half a block when you get to our cross street. But all these little glitches will get worked out eventually.
The whole thing is sort of cool and sort of worrying at the same time. Fortunately, our provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner, David Loukidelis, is on it.
My daughter and her friends have been captured walking down a nearby road, their faces obscured; our car has been spotted, with the licence plate ditto. But people are clearly identifiable to their friends and families: it takes more than blurring features to make people unrecognizable. I am taking a wait and see approach before I decide whether I like it or hate it.
I know that I really like the sentiments expressed by letter writer Roger Barany in the weekend Vancouver Sun:
How was I supposed to know Google’s sneaky street crew would come unannounced to sweep my block, snap my filthy car sitting outside my residence and post the image on its planet-wide social mapping site? When picture day is coming, can’t they send an advance note, the way my kid’s school does, so I can jazz up my crate a bit? When’s retake day?