No Swearing please, you are live…on Google

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Friday, 15 July 2011

With Google Maps, Google have taken mapping to another level enabling internet browsers to have a close up view of streets and even houses for journey planning, house buying or just general snooping. However, when the service launched many people felt that it was an invasion of privacy and worried that it would jeopardise personal security. This furore is about to heighten further with the announcement of a live system giving users real-time pictures of streets. This poses the question, is it a step forward for technology or two steps back for security?

Google maps which was launched back in 2007, has gradually added territories to its coverage across the globe over the past 4 years. It now has coverage in nearly 80% of countries around the world and is used by over 150 million users, on web, phone and connected-TV. The new update to the application is an interactive overlay of traffic as well as people, which is supposed to enable the user to be able to better plan their fastest travel route. However, with the site also using CCTV cameras it enables more detailed zooming at street level for users and with the system being difficult to monitor some feel it will pose an immediate security risk, as well as an infringement of civil rights.

The Google maps service has been forced in the past to remove sections of the mapping deemed to be breach of privacy, such as Paul McCartney’s London home, or national security in the case of Area 51 in the USA.

However, with users being able to access dynamic live stream content, it does appear that the service will be well placed to enable criminals to exploit the capabilities of an innocent system. However, with online security having such a high importance for users in the 21st Century, it is unlikely that Google will be unaware of the potential for the system to be abused and with 150 million users the public will surely be the judge of the success of the new innovation.

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