No, it’s not yet April Fool’s Day, but Google has been duped by its own game. According to Mashable.com, when members of the German Free Art and Technology group (F.A.T.) observed the Google Street View car (the car that drives around taking pictures for Google maps) rolling down a street in Berlin, they decided Google wasn’t playing fairly. The group covertly attached a GPS device to the vehicle so that its location could be detected.
Some people have not appreciated their privacy on public streets being infiltrated by Google’s Street View car, which is equipped with nine directional cameras for 360 degree views, GPS devices for positioning, and laser range scanners to record as far as 50 meters in front of the car. Where available, there is a zoom option in very high quality, further compromising people’s privacy. They could, for a short time anyway, savor the ability of flipping the positions. A large map showed the rather uneventful travels of the car until Google caught on and got rid of the gadget. However, no one can ignore the humor of the irony. Even though Google got a taste of its own medicine, the Street View car continues to travel and record pictures of public streets.
Google first introduced their Street View car in the United States in 2007 and has since then expanded their product to be active in several European countries, Australia, and parts of Asia. At first only used in major cities, Google is expanding its Street View car to include smaller cities and even rural areas.