Google’s latest privacy-killing act of privacide is “Google’s roving Street View spycam,” which is not only taking pictures, but is also scanning to log WiFi network addresses and unique Media Access Control (Mac)addresses per Andrew Orlowski’s excellent scoop at the Register.
- Let’s not forget that this is just the latest in Google’s serial privacide: Gmail; Google search; Google Earth; Street View; Latitude Geo-tracking; Google Picassa Facial Recognition; Google Translation; 411 voice recognition; Google Books; Google Docs; Google Buzz; cloud computing; DNA prints; Google-NSA partnership; Schmidt on privacy; these links are illustrative of Google’s pervasive invasiveness of everyone’s privacy, not comprehensive.
- Privacy International was dead on in ranking Google worst in the world on privacy. (Also see relevant congressional testimony here and here.)
Privacide Questions for Google:
- Why not be open about Google’s Street View’s wireless surveilance and reconnaissance? Why be so secret? Is Google afraid people/governments would object?
- Does Google have any other antennae that are recording voices or other sounds via the Street View spycams?
- What other information is Google recording, surveiling, and capturing that Google is not telling us about?
- What legitimate business purpose is there for this latest clandestine surveilance and information capture?
- Is this type of surveilance information gathering shared or subpoena-able with spy agencies (NSA) or law enforcement? If yes, why is an American company doing this on foreign citizens?
- Is there any type of information surveilance/collection that may be appropriate for an American company with American citizens in American jurisdiction, that is not appropriate with foreign citizens, or in a foreign jurisdiction?
- Is anyone else doing this with comparable scale to Google?
- Where is the privacy line for Google that it will not cross and why? Does Google believe it should intrude on people’s privacy up and to the point where they object?
- Who at Google authorized this? Or was this just an organic bottom-up outgrowth of Google’s innovation-without-permission culture?
- What supervision and internal controls are there to protect this private information from abuse?
Question for Privacy Authorities:
- How often, deep, and broadly does Google have to push beyond privacy norms, expectations, regulations and laws… before privacy authorities act?
Publicacy vs Privacy Series:
Part I: The Growing Privacy-Publicacy Fault-line — The Tension Underneath World Data Privacy Day
Part II: Implications of User Location Tracking
Part III: Extreme Publicacy — Does Privacy Stand a Chance?
Part VI: Why FTC’s Behavioral-Ad Principles Are a Big Deal
Part V: Privacy prevailed in Facebook’s privacy-publicacy earthquake
Part VI: Do People Own Their Private Information Online?
Part VII: Where is the line between privacy and publicacy?
Part VIII: “Privacy is Over”
Part IX: “Interventional Targeting? “Get into people’s heads”
Part X: “Latest publicacy arguments against privacy”
Part XI: “The Web 2.0 movement is opposed to the privacy movement.”
Part XII: “No consumer control over the commercialization of their privacy?”
Part XIV: “Google Book Settlement “absolutely silent on user privacy”
Part XV: Yet more evidence of Google’s hostility to privacy
Part XVI: Poll: Americans strongly oppose publicacy & expect online privacy
Part XVII: FaceBook CEO throws privacy under the bus
Part XIII: Fact Checking Google’s privacy principles
Part XIX: Google’s Privacy “Buzz” Saw
Part XX: Facebook and Google in a race to the Privacy bottom?