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3 October, 2008

Wrong attitude

In a meta-article about the Daily Hate's discovery that Google Street View "WILL PHOTOGRAPH EVERY DOOR IN BRITAIN", the Guardian's Bobbie Johnson makes a very dangerous statement:

Personally, I'm torn. I use the US version of Street View a lot, but don't like the idea of a surveillance society. However, given the number of CCTV cameras which spy on me every day, I'm not sure that a Google car counts as the biggest infringement of my liberties right now.
No. Wrong. It's not about identifying the single greatest surveillant, it's about combating them all. Every single one, gross or insidious: the entire culture of surveillance.

Though personally, I'm happy with Street View, so long as its cars are observing from public roads.


What got me was this part of the quote: "I use the US version of Street View a lot, but don't like the idea of a surveillance society."

Sorry, but if you don't like it, don't use it! It's hypocritical in the extreme to decry the invasion of your privacy by a tool which you then use on other people.

Posted by Jon. at October 3, 2008 05:32 PM

Hmm. Sort-of. He seems to be saying he's uneasy about the generalised concept of surveillance, but doesn't think Street View is a significant example (nor do I, as it happens).
It's me who's saying the 'little' invasions which could further soften public attitudes about the 'big' ones are worth bothering with. I disagree with his position, but don't want to overstate it!

Posted by NRT at October 3, 2008 07:56 PM
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