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The Big Brother behind Google’s street camera is… Me!

Friday, October 9th, 2009 | 3:40 pm

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Kathy Michaels

By Kathy Michaels

Well, hello there Big Brother. Fancy meeting you here and about two and half decades late, no less. Or, how about; I am ready for my closeup Mr DeMille. Just please make sure to blur out all my identifying features —specifically the forehead wrinkle that deepened upon learning of your arrival.

OK, coming up with coy things to say should I come face to face with a roving Google camera may be a bit nutty, but no less so than the fact there is one, really.

Google Street View launched in Canada this week — with a few blurring tweaks courtesy of the privacy commissioner — and while it’s yet to pan its lenses to the scintillating activities that dot this valley’s roads it’s inching closer and, for a couple of reasons, that’s creeping me out.

Most obviously there’s the privacy issue. For my peers who forgot the definition of that word, just tune into memories of that time before online social networking. You know, before facebook and twitter took over our better judgment and we understood that not all of our deep thoughts, bodily functions and activities had to be shared through a series of one-liners and photo essays?

Back then it would have seemed absurd and appalling if someone said there would be a camera rolling through local streets posting images to the internet for all to see. Back then we rightly judged over-sharers and nosy neighbours who liked to watch the community’s happenings from a crack in their curtains. That, if I recall, was privacy.

But this is now and privacy appears to be an increasingly irrelevant term.

Today we’re in a brave new world and full exposure, erm disclosure,  is the name of the game. Unfortunately, I’m in like Flynn when it comes to this kind of stuff, which brings me to my second concern.

Despite a lifetime of worshiping John Hughes’ plot-lines I’ve been told co-dependency is not romantic or normal, which means I’m just a few mouse clicks away from diving into my mother’s collection of self-help books.

Fact-checking the babble that comes out of a co-worker’s mouth? I Google. Not sure of a word? Google. Need to self diagnose? Google.

Horoscopes, story sources, random bits of news? Google, Google, Google.

Dammit, I even Google my name once a week. It’s  unhealthy, and unhealthy is unfashionable these days — I blame my late discovery of that on ’80s movies as well.

Regardless, if I get a taste of street view, I know I’ll be hooked on snooping, and  possibly the legitimate function of the program as well,  and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done while repeatedly consulting my computer.

Basically,  bugger off Google. While I appreciate all you’ve done for me, you’re getting a bit too close for comfort.

The Big Brother behind Google's street camera is... Me!5.051

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6 Responses to “The Big Brother behind Google’s street camera is… Me!”

  1. Laura says:
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    How exactly do you “snoop” viewing a static photo usually taken months ago?

  2. KathyMichaels says:
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    Is this a rhetorical question or would you like me to outline my methodology?

  3. robski says:
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    I cant wait until they update the roads and maps in google… my house has been here for a few years, yet google still shows us as a undeveloped hillside… they are definitely a few years behind on mapping.

  4. Nadia says:
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    Unbelievable!! This is just too creepy for me…
    So anyone can now know where I live, what kind of car I drive…and if i have any kids (if they happen to be playing outside.)
    If that’s not snooping…then I don’t know what is!!!

  5. Rex says:
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    Re: How exactly do you “snoop” viewing a static photo usually taken months ago?

    How much easier can it be now for thieves to steal desirable cars? They get a photo AND the address where it’s parked. Even if the photo is a few months old, the odds are the car will still be there and I’m sure the owners won’t appreciate it.

  6. Peter says:
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    *cough*conditioning for a police state like new world order*cough*

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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