Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Press Hypocrisy on Google Street View

Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Press Hypocrisy on Google Street View

Article excerpt

Privacy

The August launch of Google's 'Street View' - an online service that allows web users to see still photographs of locations along Australian roads was greeted with predictable handwringing by eager columnists and activists who claimed that taking photographs from public streets constituted an invasion of privacy.

In one of the most highly publicised cases of this invasion of privacy, a 46-year-old man was photographed sleeping on the nature strip in front of his house, apparently passed out drunk. As he told the press ? wasn't thinking there would be someone driving by with a camera.' It's a fair bet that he wasn't doing a whole lot of thinking when he decided that the best place to rest was with his legs dangling out on the road, but that's beside the point.

Google immediately took down the photo when notified, in accordance with its father comprehensive privacy policy. But the publicity that the 'victim' drubbed up for himself by telling his tale to the media meant that his story, and the accompanying image, was reproduced online and around the world. …

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