Apr 3, 2009
This whole kerfuffle about Google Street View being a burglars’ aid is ridiculous. You don’t need a map to tell who’s loaded or not, just a car. Or a bike. Or a pair of legs and eyes.
“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.”
By this logic, Chicago, San Francisco and London and all the other (rich) cities that have Street View should have been looted and burnt to the ground by now. What this statement actually tells us is that statistically their crime rate has had a small bump – they’re not out of their norm yet, as in the past 7 years recorded crime in that area (the borough of Milton-Keynes) has hovered around 10-13 reported burglaries per year, and 6 out of 52 weeks is a very small sample period.
Similarly, the terrorist-tool argument is nonsense: if your really a terrorist, you’ll launch at high visibility targets…or better yet, just into populated areas. I don’t need to point out current events in Israel and Gaza to make the case. Clearly, that’s exactly what both sides are doing. And all the claims that the Mumbai attackers used Google Earth to coordinate their activities is speciously anecdotal, being trotted out by hysterical right-wingers. Seriously: I haven’t found a single report that hasn’t been out of the mouth of somebody with the agenda to censor Google’s activities. If you find one, please tell me.