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GeenStijl versus Google Street View

In late April, Google cars started to take panoramic photographs of Amsterdam streets in order to show them on Google Street View. Popular website GeenStijl calls on its readers to spy back on the Google car drivers.

“Our assignment: find them and take their pictures. Where exactly are these cars driving? Who’s driving them? What’s the expression on their faces? Snap them! That’s the least we can do”. The website claims 3.5 million unique visitors per month.

A Google spokesperson told de Volkskrant that the company would not use the images until the privacy authority has given its approval. De Volkskrant adds that this will probably not be a problem, since a website featuring houses for sale is already showing similar images.

Google claims that its images do not invade anybody’s privacy, since faces and number plates will be made unrecognisable and people can ask to have images removed. In America, there has been controversy over images of someone’s pet cat and of sunbathing students.

GeenStijl, Volkskrant. Image: Google car in Bristol (photo Byrion)

5 August 2008 |