[funsec] Continued irony in the UK

David M Chess chess at us.ibm.com
Tue Apr 7 09:41:34 CDT 2009

While I agree with you about the actual relative civil liberty severity of 
Google Street View vs. LE video cameras, it's not particularly surprising 
that the general public reaction is the other way around.  With Google 
Street View, if there's a picture of you arm-in-arm with your mistress or 
whatever, it's right there, and everyone on earth can see and point and 
laugh, and that's easy for the average person to imagine.  The "someone in 
the local constable's office might use this to stalk an ex-girlfriend" or 
worse "an oppressive government might use this to keep track of dissidents 
or political opponents" stuff, while entirely possible and dangerous if 
you think about it, is the kind of thing where people's gut reaction is 
that it sounds like a cheap paperback plot and doesn't really happen in 
real life.

People's instincts (and I include myself, when I don't stop to think!) are 
pretty bad on judging this sort of thing...


From: "Alex Eckelberry" <AlexE at sunbelt-software.com>

OTH, you're getting one shot with Google Maps, which may show you picking 
your nose or something embarrassing, like throwing up outside a pub.  Wow, 
what an invasion of privacy. This is the same exposure that you'd get from 
a tourist posting a travel pic on a blog or Flickr.   And, Google will 
respond and take out or blur something if it's offensive. 
Compare that one picture to a continual series of video images, 24-hours a 
day, 7 days a week, which certainly show quite a bit more.  And they may 
be viewed by LE, but now LE knows a lot about you that perhaps should be 
kept private. 
And even though it's largely "innocuous" now, CCTV's on every corner open 
the door to a lot of things that civil libertarians get quite worried 
about.  It's an enabling technology that has far more downside than 
upside, IMHO, in terms of not only our privacy, but fundamental freedoms. 

From: Remo Cornali [mailto:remo.cornali at alice.it] 
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 2:44 PM
To: Alex Eckelberry
Cc: funsec at linuxbox.org
Subject: Re: [funsec] Continued irony in the UK

Alex Eckelberry ha scritto: 
I just find it bizarre that they react to Street View with lynch-mob 
mentality, but not to their serious privacy issues with CCTV's on every 
I find it almost understandable. There is a big difference:
CCTV images go to law enforcement or premise owners; Street View goes to 

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