Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Technology

Google's Bangalore Streetview Project Stalled 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-in-my-town dept.
GillBates0 writes "The Bangalore Police have objected to the collection of data by Google's cars, which were criss-crossing Bangalore city taking high definition images to give users 360 degree views of streets. Talking about the security concerns in an earlier interview with CNN-IBN, Google India Product Head Vinay Goel said, 'We are only driving on public roads and taking publicly available imagery so what we are not doing is going into a specific installation and taking private pictures and obviously we are working with the authorities so if there are certain locations they don't want us to be there we won't go there, we are happy working with the authorities here.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google's Bangalore Streetview Project Stalled

Comments Filter:
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @02:10AM (#36538726)

    From TFA:

    Bangalore has several top security installments like ISRO, DRDO and HAL and the fear could be that a 360 degree view of the roads leading to them could be used by a terrorist in the future.

    So THAT is what their concern with Streetview is. Always terror and terrorism isn't it, when in reality, the real concern is that, public images or not, people might actually not like living in a f*ing worldwide Panopticon...

    • Street View is a bunch of still images stitched together in a useful way, which is far from a panopticon. The same gripes Google is getting, street photographers have been getting for much longer, but it hasn't ended up in the press until recently.

      As for the terrorism angle, yeah, that's just a crock, but it always is when it comes to photography.

      • by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @03:11AM (#36538926)
        Oh please. When was the last time a photographer went around the world to take a picture of every single fscking road? Never, that's when. Scale makes all the difference in many things.

        For example, steal a penny from a single person, that's nothing serious. Steal a penny from every single person in America, pretty soon you're talking about real money (or staplers, at least).

        Copy a page from a book, that's fair use. Copy every single page from a book, that's copyright infringement.

        Smoke a cigarette once, you'll probably not get lung cancer. Smoke 12 packs a day every single day of your life, you'll probably get lung cancer.

        So yeah, Street View is completely different from a photographer taking pictures.

        • by Jugalator (259273)

          Oh please. When was the last time a photographer went around the world to take a picture of every single fscking road?

          Does the quantity really matter? Would you feel less concerned if "only" your entire city and your whereabouts was photographed?

          Or even just the city block where you live?

        • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:14AM (#36539402) Homepage

          Indeed. Quantitative differences do add up to qualitative differences. On the flipside, googles streetview doesn't disproportionally focus on "interesting" subjects like photographers do, thus despite being "public" most of the things photographed in streetview are still quite anonymous.

          The most creepy databases by far these days, must be those of mobile-phone-companies. The level of detail they capture 24x7x365 about literally 95% of the population above age 12, is *staggering*, and they've got demographic data on most of those subscribers too.

          A close-to-complete social map, for example, should be fairly doable to construct, just from observing who calls eachothers or send SMS to eachothers, you can even assign fairly accurate weights to the relationships based on frequency of call/sms and frequency and duration of being in the same spots.

          They need to know what base-station your phone is near right now, for the technic to work. But why they are allowed to, or indeed in some cases *required* to keep this data for months or years, is beyond me.

          • A close-to-complete social map, for example, should be fairly doable to construct, just from observing who calls eachothers or send SMS to eachothers, you can even assign fairly accurate weights to the relationships based on frequency of call/sms and frequency and duration of being in the same spots.

            Not "should be possible", "is happening."

            I can tell you for certain this is taking place and they are collecting and already using this data to try and make more money. One of the things they look for is for who are the "influencers." For example, they have noted that certain people send short text messages and make short outgoing calls, but often get many responses that are much longer. Think of someone who just says "sup?" and 10 people respond with big stories about their day or offers to hang out,

          • by metlin (258108)

            A close-to-complete social map, for example, should be fairly doable to construct, just from observing who calls eachothers or send SMS to eachothers, you can even assign fairly accurate weights to the relationships based on frequency of call/sms and frequency and duration of being in the same spots.

            I would have agreed with that a couple of years ago. But in the more recent past, I've been using social media sites and IM (using my phone, no less) for the same. In fact, while I was in college and high-school

            • by Eivind (15695)

              That's true for some subset of the population. SMS is being used less than it was at the peak, because Facebook and Twitter and suchlike has taken over parts of that.

              But locationdata, phones and SMS is still very poweful. Notice that typically not only the cell you're in, but your signal-strength to all towers in range, are logged, which gives positioning that's more accurate than just which cell you're in.

              If you know the customer is a male 17 year old, and he spends a lot of time with a male 16 year old sc

            • by Eivind (15695)

              That's true for some subset of the population. SMS is being used less than it was at the peak, because Facebook and Twitter and suchlike has taken over parts of that.

              But locationdata, phones and SMS is still very poweful. Notice that typically not only the cell you're in, but your signal-strength to all towers in range, are logged, which gives positioning that's more accurate than just which cell you're in.

              If you know the customer is a male 17 year old, and he spends a lot of time with a female 16 year old

          • It shouldn't be beyond you at all. You have already articulated the reasoning.
        • by WNight (23683)

          Oh please. I'm sure people made almost identical arguments against maps.

          "With every road fully listed criminals will know where everything is, and every road the police could use to catch them! Maps are only okay when they're of small disconnected areas so that you could never use a map to tell how to get from here to there, or anything else dangerous."

          Even if this stuff was so dangerous people could simply record their own by driving the path once with a cell-phone recording video. The cat has fully remove

        • >Scale makes all the difference in many things.

          The argument against Google's streetview seems to be a variant of the "secretive government agency phone book problem", In that example, the entire phone book is classified but individual numbers are not.

          https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-x18fG3G-ioJ:www.acsac.org/secshelf/book001/24.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us [googleusercontent.com]

          Similarly, Google is right that it is taking pictures of public streets, which people are generally free to do (sensitive locations

      • by tibit (1762298)

        I don't get what the problem is with a f*ing worldwide Panopticon. I seriously wouldn't mind. Even if the lot surrounding our house has no fence, and you could see us, say, sleeping outside on the hammock. Big f*ing deal.

        • I don't have a problem with your mother being my sex slave.

          Fortunately, rights aren't about one person's preference getting to determine everyone's way of life.

          Mostly.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          I don't get what the problem is with a f*ing worldwide Panopticon. I seriously wouldn't mind. Even if the lot surrounding our house has no fence, and you could see us, say, sleeping outside on the hammock. Big f*ing deal.

          I don't think you're going to get many supporters of that view here.

          • by tibit (1762298)

            Life is full of tradeoffs. Being seen in real time from a public right of way is the least of my concerns.

    • ...Quick ban all maps ....

    • Instead of bitching about the new reality make use of the tools it provides to help wipe out corruption.

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @03:48AM (#36539078)

      India has had a problem with Google, Mapquest and everyone else since the Mumbai Terror Attacks in 2008.

      Remember that? 164 dead, over 300 wounded and the terrorists used Google Earth to pan the attacks and figure out where to go.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/3691723/Mumbai-attacks-Indian-suit-against-Google-Earth-over-image-use-by-terrorists.html [telegraph.co.uk]

      So maybe India has a reason to have a problem with Google Streetview

      • by WNight (23683)

        164 dead, over 300 wounded

        Oh my! That's like two days traffic fatalities. Perhaps they're missing the bigger picture?

    • by glwtta (532858)
      It's even worse than they realize: terrorists could also use the roads leading to those installations.
    • by enupten (2036924)
      Well, sure Terrorism might sound like a cliche to Americans, but before 26/11 in Mumbai, there was a similar - albeit on a smaller scale - at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 2008. There are bomb blasts every other week in India. If the Indian government had an inkling for war, the "terrorism" issue would do miracles by the way of propaganda.
    • by gman003 (1693318)
      And this is why the terrorists have won. We're terrorized. Mission accomplished.
    • I think the opening sentence of the summary might be more accurately rephrased: "The Bangalore Police have sensed an opportunity for a jolly fat slice of baksheesh from Google, and have hence objected to the collection of data by Google's cars". A company that size ought to be able to pay a few million USD to help the Bangalore Police address these security concerns, neh?
  • "'We are only driving on public roads and taking publicly available imagery so what we are not doing is going into a specific installation and taking private pictures and obviously we are working with the authorities so if there are certain locations they don't want us to be there we won't go there, we are happy working with the authorities here."

    61 words in a single sentence makes Google sound rather flustered by the accusation.

    This manager would sound much more relaxed with a bit of punctuation:

    "'We ar

    • by vinehair (1937606)
      Actually the long run-on sentences in English genuinely seems to be a common dialect artifact that I've seen from Middle Eastern folk, such as my Pakistani co-workers who have almost exactly the same grammar and sentence length. It's especially common if they're explaining anything. If anything, it adds authenticity for me because as I was reading it, I was just pleased that Google at least hired some local talent for their India product team!
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      This manager would sound much more relaxed with a bit of punctuation:

      The guy was talking, not writing. Any punctuation was imagined by the reporter or editor.

      If you simply write down exactly what someone says in an unscripted interview, it's easy to make them look like a doofus by including every umm, err, false start. Most people don't speak in perfect prose.

    • by creat3d (1489345)
      Why don't you go ahead and catch syphillis? Bonus points if you're jumping in a fire at the same time.
  • Insufficient greasing of palms so far - Google is rich, so....
  • Stupid Indian cops are afraid that a car will capture them taking bribe or sleeping instead of working.
    • by Malc (1751)

      No need to be so judgemental. India has some serious paranoia around photography, due to terrorism. When we were there on holiday, we were told for instance that it might not be a good idea to take photos at railway stations if we valued our cameras.

      • that might have been due to a risk of some guy snatching away your camera.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @03:16AM (#36538952)

    Although similar complaints have been heard for the last couple of years, Google keep pretending they do not understand it. Arguments like "but we only take pictures of public areas" are just silly and besides the point.
    Google ignore the fact that there is a massive difference between a public place being public and a public place being available to everyone on the internet (including data gathering servers, and all kinds of face recognition technologies).

    And anyway, they accidentally take lots of pictures of not-so-public places because open doors/windows offer a glimpse into private houses and companies.

    Google also always place the responsibility for pointing out what cannot be put on the internet with other people/companies/authorities. It's like the checkbox saying 'no, I don't want advertisement', which if left unchecked will get you on some spam email list. Right now, other people/companies/authorities spend a lot of time (and time = money) to get pictures off the internet. I think that Google should be paying for that time spent.

    • Not that it undermines the main thrust of your argument, but I feel that sloppy investigating on your part makes you look weak - Specifically:

      Google's the world leader in face recognition technology. It uses this technology to identify faces in streetview and blur them out. The best you can rant about is that Google themselves may have a private database of times when people who've been tagged elsewhere in Google have wandered past a streetview car at a particular time. For the rest of us, there's always "t

      • You make a fair point that the pictures are only available to Google's own face recognition technologies... and until now not to third party technologies.

        My sloppy investigation indeed did not tell me whether the unblurred pictures or the blurred pictures (or both) are stored at Google's servers. Do you know by any chance? In other words: is there any chance that Google will sell the unblurred pictures to third parties in the future?

    • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @03:37AM (#36539038)

      Google ignore the fact that there is a massive difference between a public place being public and a public place being available to everyone on the internet (including data gathering servers, and all kinds of face recognition technologies).

      Your argument would apply not only to Google, but everyone who puts any picture on their blog/Facebook/Twitter/emails to his auntie.

      Any photo on the Internet is available to EVERYONE in the world. If you stop Google doing it, you must stop everyone. If Google bends over, then the precedent is pretty awful for everyone else.

      • Any photo on the Internet is available to EVERYONE in the world. If you stop Google doing it, you must stop everyone.

        What kind of bizarre ass-backwards broken logic is that?

        Those people get to choose whether or not they put pictures on the internet. They do not get to choose whether google puts pictures of them on the internet.

        You're also getting awfully close to the whole "corporations are people" line of thinking. They are not and I see no good reason why corporations and people should be held to the same

        • by thej1nx (763573)

          So you will have no problems with this, if Google maps was an open-source project run by "a bunch of people" instead of a corporation?

          Focusing on the wrong thing, aren't we?

          • So you will have no problems with this, if Google maps was an open-source project run by "a bunch of people" instead of a corporation?

            Are you claiming that corporation behavoiur shouldn't be regulated, or that this is not a case where it should be regulated?

            What you suggest is an interesting philosophical point. Of course, there is always a complete continuum from entirely acceptable behaviour to entirely unacceptable behaviour. The line generally needs to be drawn somewhere and it will always seem unfair

            • by thej1nx (763573)

              I didn't claim any such thing.

              I guess I will need to be more explicit. It shouldn't matter here whether it was a "corporation" doing this or if it was a bunch of people doing it. Is the thing they are doing, a problem in itself?

              And it is hard to scale up open-source/crowd-sourced projects? What have you been smoking? You lack the imagination, I am afraid. But for hints, I will recommend a look at the entire Linux community or even all of the flicker/twitter/internet/whatnot(when you consider that it is "a b

        • by SnowZero (92219)

          Those people get to choose whether or not they put pictures on the internet. They do not get to choose whether google puts pictures of them on the internet.

          So you're saying that this guy got the permission of the ~400 people in this photo?:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/wesbs/5273648283/ [flickr.com]

          There are lots of geotagged or labelled images on the web now, and the trend is clearly upward. Lots of people over-shard on Facebook, and yes that includes people who might take your photo and not ask you before uploading it. Google may have good coverage, but open photo sites are easier to scrape and make no attempt to blur faces. Facebook has just-enough-to-b

          • by Threni (635302)

            Technology will catch up; eventually you'll be able to scan photos for your face, and then, laws permitting, commence with a 'pay up or take it down' action.

          • So you're saying that this guy got the permission of the ~400 people in this photo?:

            Try reading the parent post I was replying to. It was about people putting up photos of themselves.

            While your point is valid, it has nothing to do with what I was saying.

            Say what you want about "righteous standards of behavior", but the horse left the barn a long time ago.

            I didn't say anything about "righteous standards of behavior", so I've no idea why you have it in quotes like that.

        • by 1u3hr (530656)

          Those people get to choose whether or not they put pictures on the internet. They do not get to choose whether google puts pictures of them on the internet.

          Well, "bizarre ass-backwards broken logic" indeed. Many people are "choosing" to put pictures of OTHER PEOPLE on the Internet, and those that seek permission from the subjects would be a very small minority.Good luck trying to stop a bunch of teenagers from putting up their snaps, or videos, if they catch you doing something embarrassing in a street alley.

          You're also getting awfully close to the whole "corporations are people" line of thinking.

          Well, by default, they are. But if you want to have laws that people can do this, but corporations can't, you'd better get lobbying.

        • Those people get to choose whether or not they put pictures on the internet.

          No, they don't. The person putting up the picture chooses, but does everyone in the picture get to choose? No, they do not. They're along for ride whether they wish it or not.

    • by Rob Kaper (5960)

      Google ignore the fact that there is a massive difference between a public place being public and a public place being available to everyone on the internet (including data gathering servers, and all kinds of face recognition technologies).

      That, or you ignore the fact that legally and for all purposes of the word public, there isn't.

    • Google ignore the fact that there is a massive difference between a public place being public and a public place being available to everyone on the internet (including data gathering servers, and all kinds of face recognition technologies).

      No, they're recognizing the fact that this difference WILL go away. It might be Google who does it, or it might be someone less well-known (and less monitored). But someone will do it.

    • That might be an argument in India for the time being, but is completely laughable in the Western countries that have pervasive video surveillance. And even in India people should be far more concerned with the drones with missiles under their wings watching them.
  • Why do people say "I'll/We'll be happy to [__insert_pain_in_the_ass_here__] ".

    They never really mean it. I mean, for example why would google be happy to inconvenience themselves .. seriously? Feel good corporate speak. /rant off

    • by glwtta (532858)
      It's a phrase people often use to emphasize, somewhat diplomatically, that they're making an effort to cooperate with someone who's being a pain in the ass.

      It's not really "corporate" in any way.
    • With all due respect, its irregardless of all things Holy.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A record of all conversations and sounds audible from public places.

    Record this - "Fsck you Brin and Page"

  • ...we are happy working with the authorities...

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

Working...