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Google StreetView Is In Your Driveway

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the friendly-google-car dept.

Google 439

hermit_crab writes "Janet and George McKee are the neighbors of the Borings, who we discussed yesterday as the couple suing Google over StreetView. The McKees own a house that is featured in a much more intrusive set of Google StreetView images. 'The Google car continued past the steps leading to the McKees's front door and came to a stop outside the house's three-car garage (and next to the family's trampoline and portable basketball rim). Taking photos all the time, the Google vehicle was squarely on private property, a fact that presumably should have been apparent when the gravel path became paved.' Unlike the Borings, the McKees have not announced intentions to sue Google, nor have they requested to have the images removed."

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439 comments

Gravel! Turn back! (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 6 years ago | (#23002334)

Taking photos all the time, the Google vehicle was squarely on private property, a fact that presumably should have been apparent when the gravel path became paved.

Why should that be apparent? There are gravel public lanes (and even a road or two) in my city, and it never would have occurred to me that such a thing would automatically mean private property.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (1)

notgm (1069012) | about 6 years ago | (#23002370)

when's the last time you went from asphalt to gravel to concrete on a public road?

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | about 6 years ago | (#23002402)

About a month ago driving around where I grew up.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002836)

I also grew up way out in the sticks. There are plenty of paved and gravel county maintained roads, a lot of them even single lane roads. It's still fairly easy and obvious to know when you are on someone's private driveway versus a public road.

The idiots driving the google camera car should have known better. Perhaps they are getting paid by the number of miles they log.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 6 years ago | (#23002934)

Well, I guess we all aren't in well enough to do neighborhoods were a road leads right to my front door / garage.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002588)

Just yesterday. What's your point?

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (4, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002592)

Uh, all the time in my home town. Many roads were nothing more than cross cuts between fields or around farms, and short sections would be dirt, gravel, or paved. Many paved sections would have long runs where there were not lines painted on it. Some of these roads led to as few as 2 or 3 houses. Some to public parks. Some to the community running track and socker field. What was a road or a driveway was not clearly obvious.

Also, perhaps the driver was simply pulling up to see if there was part of the driveway to turn around in, without having to pitch a k-turn on a single lane gravel road in a big google van...

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (5, Informative)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 6 years ago | (#23002926)

In fact if you pull up the GIS data (or googles maps which are based on city/county maps), the county road extends all the way to where the Google photographed. Just because they got a permit to pave a county road doesn't mean it isn't a county road anymore.

That they chose to put a trampoline and their house right up against it is irrelevant.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (2, Informative)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 6 years ago | (#23002676)

Last week, Spokane has a lot of streets inside the city that aren't paved.

That and a lot of "private" drives are city/county roads that homeowners have taken some liberties with. I drive by three "allies" on a regular basis that homeowners have seeded with grass. A quick look at the city maps and it's clear they haven't actually vacated the ally. I've heard some instances of road departments designating private roads as county roads in order to do a friend a favor as well.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (4, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | about 6 years ago | (#23002420)

Sure, I grew up on a gravel road, but my gravel public lanes never came complete with garage doors! [thesmokinggun.com] .

They were clearly and undeniably in the couples' driveway [thesmokinggun.com] .

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about 6 years ago | (#23002496)

It looked to me like the Google van turned down a side street and realized too late that it was a private driveway. By the time they had turned around and gone out to the main road, their van had already captured the pictures. What the operators should have done is to erase the last N seconds worth of pictures from street view, but for some reason they didn't (do they even have the capability?).

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002610)

Perhaps Google should be reviewing the photos before putting them on their website, instead of assuming that all pictures are OK.

It's pretty obvious that they were on someone's private driveway, and that they tried to turn around on someone's private property. Whoops, mistakes happen, but that's why you verify the results afterwards.

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (2, Insightful)

JJNess (1238668) | about 6 years ago | (#23002722)

Follow the progression of the pictures. They weren't just on a private road. They were in the driveway, pulled all the way up parallel the garage doors, then backed out. There is no way a driver couldn't have seen it was a private drive before he could peer inside the garage windows.

Agreed with removing the pictures... the drivers should be able to turn off the camera, or at least log when they feel the pictures should be reviewed for removal (like when he says to himself "Oops, I'm in a driveway and pulled the 30 feet all the way in so much so that I can see inside this house!").

Re:Gravel! Turn back! (1)

hbean (144582) | about 6 years ago | (#23002518)

Being in the drive way is understandable. Maybe they were just turning around. Maybe they were confused. But theres no reason or justification for them including these images.

DIBS! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 years ago | (#23002536)

Hey, are we assigning meanings and ownership to different road surfaces now?

I hereby declare all black asphalt roads to be MY private property! If anyone goes on it I'll sue! Also because it is my private property, road rules and regulations no longer apply!

It seems to be one road surface type per person so I'll just take that one...for now >:)

Re:DIBS! (1)

joeytmann (664434) | about 6 years ago | (#23002650)

Its doesn't matter what type of material is used to make a road. What matters is the differing transitions, ala going from asphalt to gravel to concrete. Take a peek at those pictures, how many roads do you see with a mailbox at the end? How many roads are there were the trees are that close? in other parts of the neighborhood the trees aren't that close. How many roads, that are gravel are one way? The drivers of the van should have used that big lump on top of their necks and thought....hmmm this may be a private road and we shouldn't go down it.

Private means private. (4, Insightful)

lwsimon (724555) | about 6 years ago | (#23002352)

They have no right to be on private property.

Re:Private means private. (-1, Flamebait)

suso (153703) | about 6 years ago | (#23002412)

Neither do you. So why are you looking at the pictures of their house? Don't you have respect? If not, then why do you expect a company too?

Re:Private means private. (5, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002680)

1: it is assumed that a driveway can be reasonably used at will to turn a vehicle around.

2: tresspassing is not automatic. In most states even when properly posted, you can still go onto private land and go up to the front door. Even salesman can ring bells at homes posted no soliciting in SC. The onyl poewr you have is to ask them to leave. It only becomes tresspassing if they refuse to or if they return later. Neither of these conditions happened.

3: the proerty itself was not marked, posted, fenced with a gate, not in any other way abvious that is was private. I can't see in any of the pictures the van took where their so called private road sign exists, let alone complies with their state's laws concerning use of proper singage (including regionally accepted or universal images to assist those who can't read).

4: all they had to do was ask for the images to be removed.

5: the engineer in the vehicle has no control over the images being taken, not can he catalog or document them. This is ON PURPOSE to prevent tampering with the image feeds, and to keep the image recorder in sync with GPS information.

Re:Private means private. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002854)

5: the engineer in the vehicle has no control over the images being taken, not can he catalog or document them. This is ON PURPOSE to prevent tampering with the image feeds, and to keep the image recorder in sync with GPS information.

If they can't even determine when a picture should or should not be included as to prevent tampering, then I certainly wouldn't call them engineers! Maybe taxi drivers for cameras would be more appropriate?

Re:Private means private. (2, Interesting)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | about 6 years ago | (#23002804)

They have no right to be on private property.
I used to hunt a lot when I was a kid. In the woods, if private property is not posted or marked in any way, while you can't hunt, you can still walk across the land and the owner has to notify you personally or by certified mail to stay off his land before you are considered to be trespassing. The land in question here was not marked as private in any way, as I understand things. Now, these laws change a lot by location, and I imagine that the laws of city of Pittsburgh are a lot different than those of the rural Colorado I grew up in, but the issue is hardly as clear cut as you seem to want to make it.

Looks like you need a robots.txt... (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 6 years ago | (#23002356)

...for your driveway.

Or a Better Government (0, Flamebait)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#23002526)

Looks like you need a robots.txt... ...for your driveway.
Nah, just a sign making it illegal for Google vans to Austin Powers it in your driveway. While they are great at coding, they can at best execute a 68 point U-turn.

Or merely a government that genuinely cares about your privacy, they should be going after Google for the infraction of ... oh, wait a minute, this happened in The United States. Good luck with that!

Re:Looks like you need a robots.txt... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002756)

In the real world, they're called "gates".

So? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#23002362)

They entered private property without permission. The owners of the property did nothing. or so the poster presumes.

Why is this here? why would it be anywhere?

surely you're not trying to draw a line between to different cases to prove some point against someone who wishes to persu their avenues, are you?
Of course not, /. would never present anything s specious~

Intrusive??? (3, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | about 6 years ago | (#23002372)

Those are low-resolution photos of someone's driveway. Fume all your want, the outside of your house is not legally private. You may get upset by me standing on a public road and gawking at it for the whole day, but there is not anything you can do about that (unless I make any threatening comments about my future intent).

Did people forget how to buy curtains?

Re:Intrusive??? (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 6 years ago | (#23002456)

Gawking in my window from the public street is legal. Gawking in my window from my driveway/lawn/whatever is not. The difference? I own my driveway. The problem here is that Google employed an idiot driver who blindly followed the GPS, which apparently indicated that the street terminated around the garage. They *should have* recognized a clear property line at the concrete drive.

Re:Intrusive??? (4, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002732)

Well, from the way the images depict it, the "road" he was on was a single lane gravel road, that according to his GPS, the map for which is from local city assessors offices, that was in fact a road. When he realized it ended in a driveway, he likely though to turn around in the nice concrete pad where it was convenient instead of trying to mull an 95 point K-turn with a big van on gravel roads with no shoulders...

You likely would have done the same.

The driver has no control of the cameras in the vehicle. He could not turn them off to do this maneuver.

Re:Intrusive??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002868)

he likely though to turn around in the nice concrete pad where it was convenient

While it sounds like a good excuse, apparently it wasn't convenient until the guy had driven all the way around the house and up to the garage.

Re:Intrusive??? (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#23002864)

"They *should have* recognized a clear property line at the concrete drive."

Bullshit. Roads go from paved to unpaved to paved all of the time. If they were really that concerned, they would have had a "Public Road Ends" sign put up. The driver was following a public map of a public road and went a few yards too far - $5 will get you $20 it happens to these folks all of the time, with people making wrong turns.

These people haven't even asked Google to take it down - why are everyone ELSE's panties in a twist?

Trespassing. (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#23002464)

You may get upset by me standing on a public road and gawking at it for the whole day, but there is not anything you can do about that

It wasn't a public road. In one case it was a private road, in another case it was actually their driveway.

I'm sure this isn't Google's normal operating procedure... both of these happened on the same day with the same van... but it seems clear to me that the guy driving the van made a mistake and it's in Google's best interests to correct it.

Re:Intrusive??? (1)

Phisbut (761268) | about 6 years ago | (#23002484)

You may get upset by me standing on a public road and gawking at it for the whole day, but there is not anything you can do about that (unless I make any threatening comments about my future intent).

True, but I can get upset by you trespassing on my private property and gawking at the outside of my house for the whole day. This isn't about "seeing the house from a public street", it's about "trespassing on private property and then taking pictures and posting them online without permission".

Re:Intrusive??? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 6 years ago | (#23002490)

But the point is these weren't taken just from public property. The photos were taken while on private property. Big difference.

Dude, did you see the pictures? (1)

essinger (781940) | about 6 years ago | (#23002626)

You may get upset by me standing on a public road and gawking at it for the whole day, but there is not anything you can do about that
They were in the driveway. [thesmokinggun.com]

Re:Intrusive??? (1)

phpmysqldev (1224624) | about 6 years ago | (#23002702)

How many of us have ever been driving in an area we were not familiar with, or the map we are using is not accurate and we are forced to turn around in someone's driveway?

Are you supposed to do it? No, but its pretty harmless, they probably didn't think anything of it and I'm sure Google will remove these images if requested.

Re:Intrusive??? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#23002724)

Actually, you can get into trouble for staring into someones home.
Glancing in as you walk by is one thing, peeping is another.

Privacy isn't black and white, it's several degrees of control and expectations.

Want to bet? (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 6 years ago | (#23002788)

Those are low-resolution photos of someone's driveway. Fume all your want, the outside of your house is not legally private. You may get upset by me standing on a public road and gawking at it for the whole day, but there is not anything you can do about that

The difference is that if I see a stranger in my neighborhood hanging about, I'm going to remember it. If something happens shortly after that in the neighborhood, I'm going to give the cops a description of the stranger and (if I saw it) a description of his automobile (and if he's acting really strange and I see the car, I'll note the license number). I don't go out of my way to watch, but I do pay attention coming in and out of the neighborhood, when I go out to check my mail or water my plants etc...
 
But about someone 'casing the joint' via Street View, I can do nothing. And that bothers me. (But unlike the stereotypical Slashdotter living in his parent's basement, I actually own a house and care about my neighbors.)

Not just Google (2, Funny)

imstanny (722685) | about 6 years ago | (#23002374)

Google maps has a feature that allows people to post pictures of various 'landscapes'. Streetview is bad enough, what if users start posting 'shower views'?

Re:Not just Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002618)

what if users start posting 'shower views'?

Oh dear lord, I feel sorry for whoever stumbles upon my shower view.

Google Hallway Views will come first (1, Insightful)

VampireByte (447578) | about 6 years ago | (#23002634)

Shower views is still several years off. Google knows all, including the need to desensitize us somewhat slowly. Google Hallway Views will be released with government support under the guise of helping rescue workers save you in case of fire. Google Kitchen Views will get the "think of the children" chant going because it will help prevent childhood kitchen accidents or CKA as the advertisements will inform us - "with Google Kitchen Views we can stamp out CKA in the next decade." In a similar manner, Google Shower Views and Google Bedroom Views will follow.

Re:Not just Google (1)

sharkey (16670) | about 6 years ago | (#23002638)

Streetview is bad enough, what if users start posting 'shower views'?

Will filtering be available for the CowboyNeal option on Showerview?

Opportunity (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#23002388)

Dear Mr and Mrs McKee,

Your 15 minutes of fame are here. If you would like to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I would suggest you contact our agency immediately. We have companies lined up, looking for advertising space, and if you act RIGHT NOW, we can offer you a lucrative advertising contract. We have excellent rates available for both rooftop and curtain based advertising.

Sincerely,
Marketing Scumbag

Re:Opportunity (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 6 years ago | (#23002664)

Nothing like a Microsoft-braned trampoline and "Always Microsoft" wall paint in the house ;-)

THat would be sweet.

tit for tat? (2, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | about 6 years ago | (#23002394)

As much as I am not overly concerned about google's invasion of privacy (with street view)... I am unsure of the point of this article.

  Just because one person does not care if google is all up on their grill, this does not mean that other people shouldn't care.

Re:tit for tat? (1)

JJNess (1238668) | about 6 years ago | (#23002520)

Whether this couple cares, there is great evidence that the driver in that area may have just gone onto private property at their neighbors' house. See yesterday's article and discussion.

"private road" signs? (0, Offtopic)

fmobus (831767) | about 6 years ago | (#23002424)

are they visible in the photo sets? Can anyone provide a streetview link showing them?

ot: slashdot is getting so ridiculously ajaxy! the preview "loading" pane is pink!

Re:"private road" signs? (2, Funny)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 6 years ago | (#23002492)

ot: slashdot is getting so ridiculously ajaxy! the preview "loading" pane is pink!

They should change it to magenta.

Re:"private road" signs? (4, Insightful)

krlynch (158571) | about 6 years ago | (#23002660)

From the fine article:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0407081google2.html [thesmokinggun.com]

I se no evidence of "private road" signs, nor do I see "no trespassing" signs. The house is certainly not visible from the main street, and it's not really visible where the "gravel" portion of the driveway becomes "concrete", which was supposed to be some big tipoff.

I fail to be impressed ... the Streetview driver drove down a named road marked on his map, which wasn't posted as private, wasn't obviously private, and ended up having to find a place to turn around at the end ... which just happened to be in the driveway of these homeowners. So what? As a homeowner myself, I hardly find this outrageous ... people turn around in my driveway all the time. And although Streetview has missed my house by a block, I'm not going to be outraged when they finally come back.

Re:"private road" signs? (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 6 years ago | (#23002668)

No, not visible.

Golden Brook Lane [google.com]

You'll notice a sign that reads "Golden Brook Ln" but nothing that says private. If you're going to name your driveway "Golden Brook Lane" and not put up obvious signage that it's a private drive, you deserve to have the occasional accidental visitor.

Re:"private road" signs? (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | about 6 years ago | (#23002730)

Here's a link [google.com] to where Goldenbrook Lane splits off from the main road (Oakleaf Ln). The presence of that sign (the post says "Goldenbrook Ln") implies that Google Maps is correct is marking Goldenbrook Ln as a public road. If follow along that road to the end, you'll see where it suddenly switches from gravel to pavement [google.com] . I guess that's where it goes from being a public road to a private driveway.

There is no sign indicating "private property" or "no tresspassing". The real problem, however, is that the public road changes directly into the driveway. There is no room for the Google-van to turn around (nor any indication that they should need to). So, the driver obviously went down the path further, and turned around in front of their garage.

It's an honest mistake: if you or I were driving down that road and needed to turn around, we would do the exact same thing. Yes, it's technically driving on someone's private property for a moment, but this is generally considered acceptable (I doubt you'd get a ticket for using the first few feet of a driveway to reverse).

In principle someone should have caught the error and deleted the images taken on the private property. It's a mistake. And certainly if the homeowners are bothered, they should ask Google to remove the pictures. (This Slashdot article may cause someone at Google to pre-emptively remove them.)

Re:"private road" signs? (1)

fmobus (831767) | about 6 years ago | (#23002810)

thank you, I saw this post from other angles, but couldn't see the street name from other angles. Makes me wonder if the driver's have any means to shut off the cameras in situations like this.

Re:"private road" signs? (3, Insightful)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 6 years ago | (#23002830)

Which is pretty much how I suspect this will break down.

Resident: You drove on my property!
Google: This county road?
Resident: That's my driveway!!!!
Google: Hold on while I get the county commisioner in on this.
Resident: NEVERMIND, HAVE A NICE DAY!!!!

Re:"private road" signs? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 6 years ago | (#23002916)

> It's an honest mistake: if you or I were driving down that road and needed to turn around,
> we would do the exact same thing.

You mean photograph the person's house and yard and put the pictures up on an extremely publicj Web site? Sure. Of course we would.

This has to be proof... (0, Redundant)

MrMage (1240674) | about 6 years ago | (#23002458)

That the Google Street View van is driven by advanced, private property disregarding, robots. I don't see how any human could drive those vans and know what they were doing was right...

Re:This has to be proof... (1)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002784)

Per the information in their maping system, that road, though private, was part of the city's road system. the "private road" sign is not visible in any of the images captures, so my guess is the driver, concerned about turning his van down a dirt lane, didn't notice it either, and kept going since the GPS information, again, prepared by city assossors, not google, indicated it was in fact a road.

Once the mistake was realized, where do you expect him to turn around a big van on a single lane dirt path with no shoulders? the driveway was his only choice...

How else should they turn around? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002466)

The car had to turn around. TFA says it was the only house on the street and probably the only good place to turn around.

The only issue is the Google should have done a better job of screening the photos to say "hey, this shouldn't be on the site becuase the car was turning around."

Re:How else should they turn around? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 6 years ago | (#23002530)

I'd say that Google should have given the driver the ability to turn the camera off in the event they needed to drive onto private property for whatever reason. Screening a city's worth of photographs is no small task. Better to make the driver responsible for recognizing such issues before the photos are even taken.

Re:How else should they turn around? (2, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002834)

The cameras, and when and how they snap shots, are controlled by computer. they snap images not based on a time interval or some other random event, but based on position. Per the GPS, the driveaw was listed as a road. Keep in mind, it's not google that makes the road map, but the city surveyor's office. Blame them.

When the vans turn around in ordinary driveways, or enter private communities who's roads are not included in GPS data, the cameras don't take pictures... If he parks in front of a starbucks and leaves the van running while his buddy refills their coffee, it takes 1 image, not dozens, since it's running in a computer and knows it has not moved...

Per the computer, that was not a driveway, so it snapped images. If he turned around in MY driveway, this would not have occurred since he would have been off the GPS indicated road.

Re:How else should they turn around? (1)

joeytmann (664434) | about 6 years ago | (#23002768)

Have people lost the ability to drive in reverse? He didn't have to turn around, backing up is an option.

Re:How else should they turn around? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002906)

I'll bet the last time you turned down a dead end street you didn't back out. Not only is that dumb, it would take more time, energy, and be more dangerous. I would also bet that in many places driving in reverse (especially going through an intersection in reverse) is against the law. Google didn't want their drivers going in reverse down any road (private, dead end, etc.).

Again, where they screwed up was not screening for this (at the end of each day the driver could do it) or by not giving them a way to turn off the camera as someone else suggested.

Re:How else should they turn around? (1)

fmobus (831767) | about 6 years ago | (#23002944)

I'm not sure about your locale, but in my country this is forbidden. Driving in reverse is limited to 15 meters or for small manouvers (such as parking, three-point turn, etc).

I sense a disturbance in the Force .... (1)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#23002506)

You have got to be kidding. The people suing over invasion of their privacy are named "The Borings"?

Do we need any more proof that there is an Intelligence behind the universe that amuses Itself by demonstrating that we are too obtuse to notice we're being mocked?

Lawyers. One industry that hurts our country. (2, Insightful)

zymano (581466) | about 6 years ago | (#23002508)

Frivolous lawsuits hurt our economy and make lawyers $$$.

Re:Lawyers. One industry that hurts our country. (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002572)

And let's not forget that judges are lawyers. They have many lawyer friends. If they stop the lawsuits, they also have to go back to being lawyers (in a profession with a sudden drop in business).

Lawsuits will never end.

Re:Lawyers. One industry that hurts our country. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#23002662)

Let's not forget they also put a gun to peoples head and make them use their services.

I really don't understand this issue. (1, Flamebait)

jskline (301574) | about 6 years ago | (#23002560)

I firmly believe that the line is crossed when they begin peering into your windows of your abode. At that point, it is an invasion of privacy. Unless there is a sign that is posted saying private drive, no trespass, then I don't think they really have a leg to stand on. More over; this still comes down to the basics of; "if you have nothing to hide, then what is the problem?"

You really don't understand this issue. (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#23002580)

More over; this still comes down to the basics of; "if you have nothing to hide, then what is the problem?"

If you don't understand why "if you have nothing to hide, then what is the problem?" is a problem, then you really don't understand this issue.

Re:You really don't understand this issue. (1)

jskline (301574) | about 6 years ago | (#23002794)

Then in reality; what you are consequently saying is;

"While you are crossing paths with my personal property, you must close your eyes and plug your ears. This is to protect my privacy."

Is that about it?

Me thinks this is turning into a contextually sensitive issue. We're in different contexts.

Re:I really don't understand this issue. (1)

JJNess (1238668) | about 6 years ago | (#23002614)

"if you have nothing to hide, then what is the problem?"

I seriously hope you're joking... there's not enough *facepalms* in the world that can express my true reaction to that statement, if made in all seriousness.

Re:I really don't understand this issue. (1)

jskline (301574) | about 6 years ago | (#23002670)

Did ya read the "entire" post? My intention is that who cares if Google maps my driveway that could have been a street. Trouble is that if I have an expectation of privacy, put up the damned signs indicating so. This way the Google vehicle moves on.

I mean really. Are you not aware that I can see that same damned trampoline from Google earth as well??? Given your address, we can look top-down at your property too.

If you have nothing to hide, then really what is the problem? We all knew this was coming. Its here now. What is everyone going to do? Try and legislate this out of existence for privacy sake?

Re:I really don't understand this issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002858)

If you have nothing to hide, then really what is the problem?

There you go again. I suppose you think it's perfectly acceptable for every facet of your life to be made public, right? Like the fact that Jeff Kline likes to torture kittens? Or that your wife got caught with your neighbor? I mean, why should any of that be private?

LOLCAT version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002568)

[picture of kitty with a video camera]

IN UR DRIVEWAY TAKING UR PICTSHUR

Google in my driveway (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#23002616)

Here's my driveway [google.com] in Google StreetView. Note the license plate. Coverage of this house is very good. The highest resolution images are available in the aerials and in the street views. Plus it's a corner lot, and there's full coverage from both streets.

This is from one of Google's earliest batches of images. I'm only a few miles from Google HQ, and they started by thoroughly covering the nearby areas.

Big Google is watching You.

Re:Google in my driveway (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#23002686)

You put your address on the internet associated with a slashdot account?

I hope you didn't piss any crazy people off.

Re:Google in my driveway (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | about 6 years ago | (#23002846)

No kidding. The first thing I thought was "wow I live like 5 miles from this guy and damn, there must be a lot of ./ readers in silicon valley" I don't think I would post my address.

But then, maybe he DOES piss off a lot of crazy people, it's just that the address he linked is of that asshole neighbor that's always running the leaf blower at 7am.

Re:Google in my driveway (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 6 years ago | (#23002778)

It's not trespassing until you tell me to get off your property and I refuse to leave. It is not illegal for me to walk onto property, only to stay once I am asked to leave. Entering the house is a different matter, and there are specific laws regarding that.

Precedents?? How about the old door-to-door salesman?? How about a stranded motorist knocking on your door asking to use your phone? How about the annoying sales fliers I find tagged onto my front door all the time.

It seems to me that unless you have a sign that says 'No Trespassing' or something similar, or a locked gate, then anyone can drive up your driveway or walk around the more open areas of your property. These houses are connected to a street using a driveway that is not gated or marked as private. Anyone can drive down them at any time.

Don't like that?? Put up a sign or a gate. Or ask Google to take down your pictures. Anything else is just being a dick or fortune hunter.

Re:Google in my driveway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002840)

I couldn't get yours to work in the end (for some reason it seemed to go strait past it in house numbers) - but I had a look round the area, I am really amazed that you can not only see people's houses but also the number plates on cars. I'm not sure I'd like that even though it technically is public. There is just a difference between saying "I accept you might see this if you're in the area" to saying "any tom, dick or harry can see it, and at the same time have the information available to see phone numbers and house lay-outs etc."

And while no requests were made... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | about 6 years ago | (#23002666)

to the google van to move on or not to take pictures, several shots were fired...

Seriously, if I saw someone on my property taking pictures of my house, I'd call the cops... makes me wonder what happens when they meet someone who is unreasonable... best to stay off other people's property

Let's invade Google's privacy (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | about 6 years ago | (#23002734)

How,

Long do you think Google would permit someone to walk onto their campus and start shooting photos before security rushes over and "escorts" them away.

And what would Google think if said person was using the new ultra-zoom whatever (think Google Earth) and began posting through the window photos of Google's whiteboard strategic planning meetings?

I think Google might send out a lawyer letter or two themselves.

It's obvious, Google hired a nitwit to drive the camera car around taking photos. That doesn't absolve them from responsibility for the actions of their nitwit.

Still there (2, Insightful)

mzs (595629) | about 6 years ago | (#23002744)

It's clear the driver needed to make a u-turn in the driveway. There should be an on-off button for the picture taking precisely for this. There should have been no pictures taken from the dirveway.

Compare the difference between the street view [google.com] and the picture from the road at the county assessors [allegheny.pa.us] .

Frankly I am more concerned about all the info available in other ways. When I was looking into buying a distressed home from someone trying to flip it, I found the social security numbers in mortgage papers online with the county. They just scanned them and put them online. When we bought a different house, I made sure that lots of stuff was blacked-out before it was duplicated.

Losing privacy to a slippery slope (1)

thomasdz (178114) | about 6 years ago | (#23002746)

OK, so the Google van went onto private property and took pictures... OOPS. However, I can see the possibilities in 50 years when postal/delivery services become more and more automated. Most people currently allow access to parts of their private property to unknown people in terms of the mailman, the UPS guy, the newspaper boy, etc. What happens in 50 years when most of these services are automated by Roomba-like vehicles that wander around neighborhoods delivering services? They may need to have a camera on board to assist with path navigation and yes, they may need access to YOUR private property. We need to figure out what to do now so that we can come up with rules to be applied in the future.

Street named (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002774)

If I saw what I think I saw, these people had a street name for their driveway. Take a look at the photo. If their driveway is a street, then it is public and fair game. I bet they petitioned to get their own "private" street, probably to one-up their neighbors. Or worse, for some tax/service reasons. Oops city street, you have to plow my driveway...er uhm my street. And maintain the potholes and sewer and water, etc.

Draw the Line Between Residential and Business (1)

writerjosh (862522) | about 6 years ago | (#23002792)

I think Google should draw the line between public/business addresses and residential (apartment buildings would be ok).

When you have such detailed images of a lonely residential street, it opens up the opportunity for crime. Imagine a motivated burglar who can case a neighborhood from the safety and anonymity of his own home. He can make a detailed plan of where the best place to access a home is. He can assess their wealth and potential goodies. Sure, the burglar could drive up the street in his car, but this would be much more risky because people could see him and be suspicious. Street view from Google makes burglary much easier.

I say, Google should photograph all public and commercial buildings: because that's what they want anyway - visibility. But, Google should shut off the camera when they go down residential streets. Apartment buildings would be ok since they are typically secure and are typically mixed in with the business parts of the city.

at least they were civil about it (1)

kris.montpetit (1265946) | about 6 years ago | (#23002898)

well, at least these guys know better than to sue over something stupid like this. Really nowadays it would be similar to suing someone for putting you on a paper map. I really doubt that they could honestly say they're privacy was invaded-so long as they themselves were out of the picture.

Legally, in photography, you don't have to ask as long as their face/major identifying marks, is not discernible, but i don't know how that reflects on property

Goldenbrook lane is their problem (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | about 6 years ago | (#23002928)

They named their driveway 'Goldenbrook Lane', so of course Google is going to assume it's public property.

I don't know what the deal is with people who do that (mail delivery?), but it seems if you disguise your driveway as a public street things will get confused.
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