Google Street View
September 18, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Google Street View is currently taking pictures in and around my home village. Google Japan has released a rather cute animated video explaining how the whole process works. Its main aim seems to be to respond to all the criticism regarding privacy issues. It's still cute, though.
posted by Matthias Rascher (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh how I wish that was how it really worked.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:21 AM on September 18, 2009

I'm just going to go ahead and decide to believe that this is how it's done, because that's awesome.

And Japanese are crazy when it comes to privacy.
posted by Bugbread at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2009

And Japanese are crazy when it comes to privacy.

Shit, that's the truth. My wife refuses to let me "friend" her on Mixi, or even look at her Mixi page.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2009

I gave up on Mixi, because none of my friends use their real names, and none of them use their real pictures, so I have no idea who the hell all these people are.
posted by Bugbread at 9:54 AM on September 18, 2009

Great video. I can't take the privacy complaints seriously though. They're driving down the street taking pictures. It's not Google's fault that you decided to vomit on the Internet, or that you're ashamed of visiting a sex shop.
posted by explosion at 10:15 AM on September 18, 2009

I blame the media. Not in the sense of "the media fanned the flames of this Google Maps issue", but the whole concept of "portrait rights", which are described nowhere in actual Japanese law. The idea (which, in its extreme cases, is logical) is that your visage cannot be used without your permission for money-making purposes when your visage is your source of livelihood. To give an easy to understand example: you can't snap a picture of a celebrity coming out of his house and use that photo in an ad campaign for your product.

So far so good.

But the only case precedents for this are specifically for people whose faces are their sources of livelihood: actors, models, etc. But because media companies (and I'm not thinking so much "TV stations" "newspapers" "magazines" as much as "modeling agencies", "acting agencies", etc.) have pushed this so aggressively (famously the Johnny's talent agency), the average person on the streets has gotten it into their heads that there is such a thing as a universal "portrait right" that means your face can't be shown anywhere unless you give explicit permission.

And it's nuts. I know folks who won't let their spouses send family pictures to relatives without getting permission from every person in the picture.
posted by Bugbread at 10:37 AM on September 18, 2009

And forget putting a picture up on a public blog that shows pretty much anyone other than yourself.
posted by Bugbread at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2009

My wife removes the label from every single piece of mail that comes our way. The envelope goes into the recycle pile, the label gets set aside for shredding. Every. Single. Label. Just in case, say, someone goes through the garbage in the half an hour it's sitting in the designated box, about 50 meters from our house, which has our name and address on it.

On the other hand, the Google camera car was parked in the lot next to my old apartment. I got to talk to the guy about it, which is how I found out they were doing Streetview in Japan about two years before it was released. This was in Chiba, and there are some places in Chiba City that have more detail, I think, than some places in Tokyo.

The best part was I could actually tell the day he'd taken pictures of my apartment. I knew we were home (the bicycles were out front) and which day it was because it was the day after it snowed. The one day of the year with snow on the ground is pretty easy to remember.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2009

I used to be in a picture on Google Street View, but they updated the pictures for my area and I was lost forever. I didn't have any privacy concerns, I actually kind of liked it. Of course, I wasn't going into a sex shop.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:20 AM on September 19, 2009

« Older Happy 300th Birthday!   |   Big things have small beginnings Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments