Privacy campaigners have hit out at the latest version of Google Streetview, which not only shows the front of any selected property, but also allows users to zoom into a close up on any part of the building to peer through into bedrooms or bathrooms.
Google’s mobile photography units have been busy recording millions of images over the past two years, and the new upgraded version of Google Streetview went on-line this morning. The images were taken by Google’s mobile photography units, generally on a Saturday night after closing time, although in more sedate neighbourhoods, Sunday mornings were also found to be quite revealing.
‘This is a massive personal intrusion’ said Matthew Hunt of the National Campaign for Personal Privacy. ‘Just with a couple of clicks of my computer I was able to zoom into the home of that young couple who live a few doors down from me and then I was able to go right up to their bedroom and look right in. The couple had been captured in the middle of undressing and then as I scanned across to the bathroom I was able to see her in the shower, her erect nipples glistening through the soap suds. Frankly, I was shocked.’
Google have defended their new facility, saying that the view is no greater than a passer-by could obtain if he glanced across at a house in any given street, noticed a ladder down the side and then propped it up against the front to secretly watch the householders inside. Mr Hunt however has backed down from a threat to take Google to the European Court of Human Rights and has asked that they show different pictures of his own bedroom, adding that he was simply putting on that wet suit to try it on before he went on holiday and that the baby oil on his wife’s best friend was to treat her dry skin.