Angry British villagers stop Google maps car: report

April 3, 2009
A Google Street View car with its camera in Amsterdam in March 2009. Angry residents of an English village blocked the driver of a Street View car who was filming the neighbourhood, saying they feared he would encourage burglaries, a report said.

Angry residents of an English village blocked the driver of a Google Street View car who was filming the neighbourhood, saying they feared he would encourage burglaries, a report said Friday.

One resident, Paul Jacobs, told the BBC he had alerted his neighbours after spotting the car from his window in Broughton, Buckinghamshire, southern England, on Wednesday.

"I don't have a problem with wanting to promote villages. What I have a problem with is the invasion of , taking pictures directly into the home," Jacobs said.

"We've already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it's an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police."

After his call, a police car arrived in Broughton to reports of a dispute between a crowd of people and a Google contractor.

"They felt his presence was an intrusion of their privacy. When police arrived at the scene, the car had moved on," explained a spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police.

The Google Street View project, set up last month in Britain, aims to provide detailed 360-degree views online of streets all over Britain.

The project has already been strongly criticised by associations like Privacy International, a pressure group which has launched legal action against the IT company.

Google is confident their new mapping project is within the law.

"Before launching Street View we sought the guidance and approval of the Information Commissioner's Office. The ICO has repeatedly made clear that it believes that Street View includes the safeguards necessary to protect people's privacy," a Google spokesman said.

"The Metropolitan Police (in London) told us they saw no appreciable security risk, that burglars are opportunistic, and that mapping products can be useful in solving and mapping crime in an area."

He added: "Embarking on new projects, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, and Street View has been no exception."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Privacy group urges probe of Google cloud services

Related Stories

Google removes street images over privacy complaints

March 20, 2009

US software giant Google said Friday it had removed several images from its Street View software, which allows web surfers to view parts of 25 British cities, after users raised privacy concerns.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Not another new phone! But Nextbit's Robin is smarter

September 2, 2015

San Francisco-based Nextbit wants you to meet Robin, which they consider as the smarter smartphone. Their premise is that no one is making a smart smartphone; when you get so big it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.