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Google’s New Street Map Feature Concerns Privacy Rights Activist

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

(Photo: Street view of Balboa Park, from Google Street View )

Tom Fudge: Google is so familiar to us that it's become part of our language. We use it as a noun and as a verb. And now it has made a new inroad into our lives that some people find useful, some people find amusing and some find disturbing.

I'm talking about Google Street View. Go to maps.google.com and you'll find it. Street View provides photographs of the street scenes of several large American cities, and now San Diego is one of them. You can see people driving down the street, having conversations and walking out the doors of businesses. While it's considered valuable to people trying to learn more about a place, it's considered an invasion of privacy by some others. A kind of candid camera that catches all sorts of activity, including some that may be embarrassing.

Guest

  • Stephen Chau, product manager for Google Maps, which developed Street View.
  • Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum , a nonprofit, non-partisan public interest research group, which focuses on privacy issues. 

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